Challenge Match: orange-light vs CA_Orot: Imaginary Friends Over The InterWebs?

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posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:18 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Online Friends Are As Real As Personal Friends."

orange-light will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
CA_ROT will argue the con position.

***This Debate Will Commence On December 13th at 12:00am GMT. The Start Time Is Subject To Change At The Discretion Of The Two Fighters***

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy:
Each debater must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

[edit on 2-12-2008 by MemoryShock]




posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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Challenge Match:
orange-light vs CA_Orot: Imaginary Friends Over The InterWebs?



At first I would like to thank MemoryShock for setting up this thrilling debate: “Online Friends Are As Real As Personal Friends." It is really a pleasure to discuss it and really necessary to prove that Online Friends are real friends. Thanks to my dear and estimated opponent CA_Orot. Last but not least a big thank for the judges, who are spending lots of time in judging. Thanks for this time, since your time makes our debates possible. Dear judges and dear readers I would like you to keep in mind that English is not my native language; therefore it can happen that I don’t use the appropriate terms, please forgive this and stick on my arguments.

I would like to take you to my world, the world of online friendship. I know it is real and most of you know it is real too. We all have to cope from time to time with husbands, wives, parents, troubled friends, who try to convince you that online friendship doesn’t have the value, the same reality than real friends. They try to draw a line and differentiate between online life and real life.

This will become a very personal debate.

Some people haven’t really adjusted to modern times. Therefore the World Wide Web is like a dragon, which they can’t master. An unknown country with strange people they don’t want to explore! Something, which is very dangerous. And they want everybody to adapt their fears!
Life has to be dangerous, that’s what they think, and online life – which is less valuable than real life – has to be much more dangerous. And therefore online friends can’t count as much as the friend next door or your long-term school mate, even if you don’t get along with her anymore, but you have to, you know her since you were a little kid.

Is this true?
We all know, since we met in the Internet, that this can’t be true.
But why?
This will be subject of this debate.

In this debate I am going to define the terms of friendship.
What friendship really means and what friendship doesn’t mean.

Fortunately I can stick to a merely private study, which I did in a German Forum after getting trouble with a friend in my hometown. The trouble left me very disturbed and depressed. I wasn’t sure about my thoughts of friendship. So I did a little survey, which cleared the matter for me.
I am very happy to share this experience with you.

And we will figure out that it doesn’t matter where you met your friend actually.

We will see that friendship and the way it is looked at has developed throughout the last century. Today we got different ways to get in touch with each other than our parents and grand parents. But even those had to learn that due to technical means their way of keeping in touch with loved ones changed during their lives.

We will examing the ways in which we get in touch with online friends and how online friendship develops. To my experience there is a certain way getting to know each other and become closer to each other, becoming real friends. At first glance this way seems to be a bit different to the way you might have met a kindergarten friend, a school mate or a person at college, church or your sport class. But when you look carefully at the process you will figure out, like I did, that it is not only similar with each online friend, but also very comparable to the way you usually befriend in so called real life.

We will also see how an online friend can help you to stay sane at some days, when nobody in real life is at hand to help you. As I stated before, this will be a very personal debate. It will be personal, because I will share my experiences in online friendship of the last ten years with you. I will introduce to some of my friends, whom I met online, who are real and with whom I happily share my life, no matter at which place of this world they are living.

The Internet gave me the opportunity to meet people of different countries, of different age, of different philosophies.

Socratic question to my opponent CA_Orot:
Question 1:
Do you believe that only real humans can make friends?


Please keep in mind that we are not talking about the fascinating world of animals, who can also befriend other animals or humans.

Question 2:
Do you think that usually a real human being is sitting at the other end of the computer?


Question 3:
If the answers to question 1 and 2 are yes: Why are we debating?



posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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Opening Statement: Imaginary Friends over the InterWebs: Online Friends are as Real as Personal Friends

First, I would like to thank orange-light for kicking my bottom into gear and talking me into doing this debate with her. Thank you to MemoryShock for hosting and making this debate possible. Thank you to the Judges for the time you have spent, and will spend reading and judging this debate. And finally, thank you to the readers, for allowing us to entertain you.

 


My opponent, orange-light, brings to the table a personal and emotional foundation for her stance in this particular debate; a foundation that I do not share. I can not dispute that orange-light believes her online friends are as real as personal friends; in fact, I believe that she believes her online friends are as real as her personal friends.

I will not try to prove that her friends are not real, and I will not try to prove that orange-light herself, is not real. Instead, what I intend to do is clearly define the words: “real”, “friend”, and “trust”. By using these definitions, along with citing real-world cases involving online friendships throughout the debate, I will prove that online friends, can not in fact be considered personal friends.


Real
2 a: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory

www.merriam-webster.com...


Friend
1 a: one attached to another by affection or esteem
2 a: one that is not hostile

www.merriam-webster.com...


Trust
1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b: one in which confidence is placed

www.merriam-webster.com...

*Bolding is my emphasis

I concede that the Web is like a Dragon, which people are intimidated by, and I will prove that their fears are justified by reason. An online life can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken, to ensure protection of real life. In real life we take our personal friends for coffee, we give them our phone numbers, we invite them to our houses, and we interact with them in public as well as in private.

We trust our real-life personal friends with sensitive information about ourselves (our first and last names, our home addresses, and our inner deepest thoughts and/or feelings). In real-life friendships there is a certain amount of trust and loyalty that is expected by both parties, and in the event that this trust or this loyalty is betrayed, we might end our personal friendships.

An online friendship is based solely on textual interaction, which can not and does not prove the existence of a real or truthful human being. The interaction between the two parties is simply based on words; words that we assign meaning to and interpret as we read them.

The only connection that can possibly be made between a personal friend and an online friend – is that we might be compelled to share with them our inner deepest thoughts and/or feelings-- as opposed to anything that might be actually true or real about ourselves. But then, if we are willing to share with them our thoughts and our feelings; and not our full names, phone numbers or home addresses-- isn’t there then an absence of trust in the said friendship? Then isn’t there instead the presence of anonyminity?

By following Renee Descartes Method of doubt: If the previous two statements are correct, should it not follow that the online friendship is in fact not to be categorized in the same definition of a personal friendship? As I would expect, that in a personal friendship the reversal of these terms would be true: trust would be present in the friendship and anonyminity would be absent.

Throughout this debate, I will be looking at the fundamentals of a personal friendship and by comparing and contrasting them with that of an online friendship, introduce the reader to the deceptive and fearful side of online friendship.

I will demonstrate that reality is subject to that of the individual, and that no one, can prove the existence of another person online. By using Descartes method of doubt, and the “I think therefore I am” theory, I will show the reader that nothing in this life is ever certain, because just as the senses deceive us in our real-lives, anything and anyone has the opportunity to deceive us as well.

I will show the reader just how far uncertainty can stem, once reality is taken away and substituted for that of an online reality. I will show the reader, that no one, on the internet can be trusted–as the internet is a large playground, and being “real” is not a requirement in order to play.

 


Answers to Socratic Questions:



Socratic Question One:
Do You Believe that only real humans can make friends?


I believe that all humans contain the necessary genetic makeup that drives them for companionship and to make friends. I believe that humans posses the need for approval, thus driving them to find it wherever they can which includes friendships.

If by “real” humans you mean not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary (As defined by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary) then Yes. I believe that only not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary humans can make friends. An artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary human, I believe, is only capable of having artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary 'friendships'—which is an oxymoron as a friendship can not be based on these qualities.



Socratic Question Two:
Do you think that usually a real human being is sitting at the other end of the Computer?


No. As defined by Merriam Webster “real” is: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary; and I do not believe that usually there is a “real” human being sitting at the other end of the computer.

The term “real” human being assumes that every person on the other end of the computer is not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary. This terminology does not take into consideration the fact that there are in fact artificial, fraudulent, and illusionary people sitting behind computers, and connected to the internet as well.



Socratic Question Three:
If the answers to question 1 and 2 are yes: Why are we debating?


My answer to question 2 was No, therefore there is no need to respond to this question.

 


Socratic Questions to orange-light:

Socratic Question One:

Do you concede that there are internet predators who prey on unsuspecting victims by posing as being a “friend”?


Socratic Question Two:

Do you believe that you are safe on the internet?



Thank you... And now it's your turn.



posted on Jan, 7 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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Online Friendship Response I



Oh yeah, I am very, very happy that CA_Orot is not trying to prove that I am unreal. Dear me! Imagine this. It would totally confuse not only the judges and readers, but me as well. A complete family disaster: “Hi son, I am your mom, but I am not real, auntie CA_Orot just proved it!”

By the end of this post I will rebut a couple of carrot’s statement. First of all we should talk a little bit about reality. Carrot quotes a dictionary which claims that real is not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory. Maybe this was my luck that Carrot thought I couldn’t be artificial and therefore I must be real.

What does real really mean? It refers to things that actually exist! Our reality is real! What does reality mean?


Reality, in everyday usage, means "the state of things as they actually exist".
[1]

Nobody would ever disagree that we don’t exist, you the reader, you the judge and you my dear opponent carrot, you exist, therefore you are real! No doubt, you are real.
Popular wisdom sometimes calls real everything you can touch. I agree, I can touch my friends. Even if it is not possible because they are not sitting next to me, it could be possible. And I guess that everybody would agree that the President of the United States is real, that the Pope is real or that your favorite popstar is real. There is the possibility that these persons can be touched, even if they are far away.

Ok we agree about real!


What is a Friend?
What is Friendship?


This will be today’s topic.
Carrot claims that a friend is somebody who attaches another by affection or esteem and who is not hostile. Great, this is – to my understanding – a very basic requirement to the term of friend.

Affection for sure is very essential for friendship, but also the loyalty towards my friend is very important.
What else does friendship mean?

As I told you in my opening, I had had some problems with a friend of mine. In some ways I considered her being a very close friend. I met her at a sewing class a couple of years ago. We thought we liked each other, we started to meet between classes and as carrot stated in her opening we exchanged phone numbers, addresses and even birthdates. We met on regular bases, talked about everything that was on our mind. It was wonderful.

We supported each other. Sure there were also times where one of us was messed up in the rest of the life, work, kids, marriage and therefore there were few hours we could spent with each other or even no time for each other. Then we talked on the phone or wrote emails. We stayed in touch.

It went on for a couple of years. She helped me when I split with my hubby. She helped me moving and cleaning the old house. So did I for her. She was what I called a real friend. I could share my most intimated secrets with her.

But then, all of a sudden about eighteen months ago it stopped. I was really scared and worried about her. She asked not to talk on the phone so often because she developed problems with the phone. She told me that she couldn’t talk so much, because she has to talk so much to her children, that she doesn’t have so much time. Ok no problem. I am her friend and I respect her, but I missed her too. Occasionally she called me and told me how wonderful I am in her eyes and how much she loved me. Oh great! But I felt lonely, I wanted to spent time with her, therefore I talked about it to her and she realized that she was only following her needs and forgot about mine. A compromise, which would serve both of us, that was the solution. But nothing changed.

Then I started to think about friendship. I thought I might got a misinterpretation and I started that little survey I have talked about in the German forum I am member of. Unfortunately I can’t quote what the members of that forum claimed according friendship but I will give you a summary:


  • Real friendship means to relay on each other in good times and in bad times
  • to be able to talk about everything
  • to share secrets with each other and be sure that the other one won’t tell it anybody else
  • my friend accepts me the way I am, I don’t have to change
  • you can trust the other
  • to care for each other


And I guess this represents not the whole variety of a good and real friendship. But it helped me to estimate my own thoughts and feelings about friendship and I figured out, I wasn’t wrong. In this special case I decided to let go in a certain way, to take out the emphasis and give her more room to be on her own. It is very hard for me, but I try to respect her more and hopefully this will come out to be a friendship and not only somebody I know.

But, as we will see in the next responses, all these terms of friendship apply also for online friendship, when they have gone through a certain process, which I will describe in my next response.


Rebuttal

Carrot would match great with my mom. To her the web is a dragon, an uncontrollable beast too.


An online life can be dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken, to ensure protection of real life.


Carrot my dear, believe it or not, even real life can be dangerous. You have to be careful when shopping groceries; you have to be careful when crossing the street. Life is perilous, and usually it ends with death. Or to formulate it much more popular: Nobody gets alive out of his life.


It is fantastic to have a coffee with a friend, if this is possible. What happens to the friendship if my friend moves to another town? For those living in such huge countries as the USA or Canada such a moving can be a cross continent ride. Sure the distances here in Germany are much closer but a move from Berlin to Munich is comparable to moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles, just in terms of distance spoken. Will a friend stop being a friend, only because she moves to the other end of the country? We all know the answer: NO, a friend remains to be a friend! We got other means to stay in contact: e.g. phone, email, skype.


Carrot claims:


An online friendship is based solely on textual interaction, which can not and does not prove the existence of a real or truthful human being.


If you start calling any member of the forum an online friend, than my dear you should be pretty careful. Than I completely understand your precautions and worries about online friendship.

Socratic question #1:

Would you call any member of your uni class a friend in the terms of friendship we defined before?


I won’t deny that there are strange people on the Internet. But there are also strange people in my office or college class, church or where ever people meet other people. Everybody is wearing a social mask, which isn’t very easily to be pulled down. People love to pretend to be different as they really are. They adapt roles.

Be sure the private personality of your doctor or banker is totally different from her/his business personality. You will trust these persons, although you will never know them really, much more sensitive facts and information about yourself than your closest friend.

Carrot states by answering my SQ1:


If by “real” humans you mean not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary (As defined by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary) then Yes.


and by answering SQ2:


The term “real” human being assumes that every person on the other end of the computer is not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary. This terminology does not take into consideration the fact that there are in fact artificial, fraudulent, and illusionary people sitting behind computers, and connected to the internet as well.


When a human by SQ1 is not artificial how can he be artificial by SQ2?
I am really puzzled, or, my dear opponent, are we talking about the social masks?

Socratic question 2:
Do you think that usually a human who is able to make friends and establish functional relationships is on the computer and interacts in the internet?



Answering Socratic Questions by Carrot


Socratic Question One:
Do you concede that there are internet predators who prey on unsuspecting victims by posing as being a “friend”?


No problem, I concede! Sure there are people on the internet, who try to get advantage out of acquaintance they made on the internet. But these people can be found in any part of life. I never expect of anybody to be involved in a blue-eyed way into friendships, neither online nor real life. Everybody should measure very carefully risks about interaction with other people. But most girls think it is much more safe to go straight to the apartment of a guy they just met in the local club or take him to her apartment for having sex, than meeting a girl they met on the internet. Is this safer? It must be – it is real life!

Socratic question 3:
Do you concede that there are people in real life who abuse friends and betray naïve old ladies they met in the local senior club and try to get their advantage out of them?




Socratic Question Two:

Do you believe that you are safe on the Internet?


Sure, if I take the necessary precautions. Like I would never leave my front door unlocked I won’t use the Internet without the necessary locks! Internet is a part of our life. As I stated before: you can’t be absolutely safe in life. But you also can’t be absolutely paranoid about life and run around and mistrusted anybody. This is not realistic. But as I won’t trust any person I meet on the street next door until I really get to know her/him I won’t trust any person on the internet, until I really get to know her/him, as long as it is possible to get to know a person really.
How you get to know an Internet buddy well will be the topic of my next response.

Carrot the floor is yours!



posted on Jan, 8 2009 @ 03:18 AM
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Due to a conflict between my Class-Schedule and the last time-stamp, I'll be using my 24 hour extension.

Thank you!



posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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Response One

For Clarification


When a human by SQ1 is not artificial how can he be artificial by SQ2?


Previous SQ Questions, for Reference Only
SQ1 asked:Do you believe that only real humans can make friends?
SQ2 asked: Do you think that usually a real human being is sitting at the other end of the computer?

I do not see SQ1 and SQ2 being mutually exclusive–meaning, I don’t think that the context of SQ2 changes as a result of the answer of SQ1. I do not view these two questions as having anything to do with the other, as there is nothing that links these two questions together in the wording. SQ1 deals with the concept of real humans making friends. SQ2 two deals with the concept of real humans sitting behind a computer. These two questions can not be linked in the method you have suggested: that if a human is not artificial in SQ1, he can not be artificial by SQ2.

View of SQ1: Only real humans are capable of sustaining real relationships, as their relationships will not be artificial, fraudulent or illusory.

View of SQ2: A person who is not artificial, fraudulent or illusory can be sitting behind the computer – just as someone who is artificial, fraudulent, or illusory can be sitting behind the computer as well.

 


Qualities of a Friend

Let’s start by looking at the qualities of a Friend. I believe that these qualities will vary on a per person basis; so I have chosen the top 3 that I believe are the most important and relevant to this discussion in terms of a real Friendship.
*real as defined in my Opening Post by Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary.


Honest
1 a: free from fraud or deception


This definition implies that someone who is honest will not deceive, lie, or misrepresent themselves. This is an important quality for a friend to possess because the concept of trust is based on honesty.


Loyal
b: faithful to a private person to whom fidelity is due


The idea of someone who is loyal is that they will not betray you or your trust. This also works in conjunction with trust.


Trustworthy
worthy of confidence


Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary
*Bolding is my ephasis

Based on the definitions above, a person who is lucky enough to be granted the status of “Friend” is someone whom is honest, loyal, and trustworthy and therefore deserving of another persons trust. Is this a reasonable statement to make? (Not a SQ).

Consider the Following Argument (with points 1 and 2 being the premises, and 3 being the conclusion):
1. A friend is someone whom is honest, loyal, and trustworthy and deserving of a persons trust.
2. An online acquaintance is granted the status of “friend”
3.Trust is present in the said relationship.

If premise one and two are correct, then the conclusion is deductively valid.

SQ1:
Do you trust a personal friend with personal information about yourself (full name, address, phone number, etc)?


Consider the Revised Argument (with points 1 and 2 being the premises, and 3 being the conclusion):
1. A personal Friend is trusted with personal information about an individual (full name, address and phone number, etc.)
2. An online friend is just as real as a personal friend.
3. An online friend is trusted with personal information about an individual (full name, address and phone number, etc.)

Simplified: If an online friend is just as real as a personal friend, then they should be trusted with a person’s personal information: Full name, Address, and Phone Number, etc. The above argument is deductively valid as well.

SQ2:
Do you trust an online-friend with personal information about yourself (full name, address, phone number, etc)?


Personally, my answer is No. And if the answer is No, then the second premise of the Revised Argument is flawed. As the statement “an online friend is just as real as a personal friend” is false. A personal friend is trusted with much more sensitive information about an individual, then that of an online acquaintance. Therefore an online friend, is not the same as a personal friend.

From orange-lights 1st repsonse:

you can trust the other


SQ3:
Would you trust a personal-friend with information about your son (Name, birth date, age, etc)?

SQ4:
Would you trust an online-friend with information about your son (Name, birth date, age, etc)?


 


Existence and Life

Nobody would ever disagree that we don’t exist, you the reader, you the judge, and you my dear opponent carrot, you exist therefore you are real! No doubt you are real.

*Bolding is my emphasis

I would like to point out that the first quote is false. Rene Descartes is one example of someone who questioned the existence of everything and in the process discovered that the only thing that he could actually prove existed, was himself - and to himself only.

SQ5:
Can you, orange-light, prove that I CA_Orot am real (*not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory)

*as defined by Merriam Webster's Dictionary

If the roles were reversed, I would have to say No - I can not prove that you are real. Nor can anyone else involved in a textual relationship online. I can not prove based on your writing style whether you are any of those things. For all I know you might be artificial, fraudulent, or illusory–and I have no way of knowing. Without seeing you face to face, reading your body language, and interacting with you – my ability to “read” you is diminished. Instead of physical features I have words to read, that could have been written by anyone–how do I know that you are not deceiving me?


The lawyer for a Missouri mother accused of creating a fake MySpace page to harass a 13-year-old girl is arguing that charges should be tossed out of court because if she is guilty, then so are millions of Internet users every day.

*Bolding is my emphasis
Source

How do I know, that you aren’t really a 40 year old man sitting behind your computer? You could send me a picture – but that picture could be anyone. There is no way to tell for sure, if a persons picture online - is identical to the person's real physical features.


Sheiler reportedly used pictures of her daughter to pretend she was 18 and flirted with Montgomery, who pretended he was a young U.S. Marine bound for Iraq.

*Bolding is my emphasis
Source

These are two examples of online-relationships that ended badly as a result of misrepresentation. The young girl was in an online relationship with a Boy (who was actually a Mother in the neighborhood she lived in) and committed suicide. The young man believed he was conversing with an 18 year old girl (who was actually a mother using pictures of her daughter). He was murdered by a jeleous mutual online-friend. Both of these losses are a tragedy and lightly touch the topic I’ll be examining in my next post.

Life: Online and Off

As much as we would like to believe, or even fantasize otherwise – we only get one chance at Life. Life ALWAYS ends in Death. Yes it is dangerous both online and offline. But there-in lies the problem: The difference between online and offline.

Almost everywhere people go, there is a risk and a danger: the mall, gym, super-market, and walking to classes. However, just as mammals have defense mechanisms to help keep them alive – so do humans. In an offline situation, humans are able to put these defense mechanisms to the test that mostly deal with one thing in common: Perception. For example: reading a persons body language, and hearing their tone of voice. Both of these things can trigger the Flight of Fight response in a human which can alert them of danger.

In an online situation – we do not have the same perception advantages to gauge a particular person. Some Scientists believe the gut feeling to be an autonomic response of the body when we are in danger. Has everyone heard the expression “Go with your Gut”? Well, over the internet, the gut feeling is minimized as a result of a lack of stimulus –all we are reading is words. We are not reading the person in the same sense, or to the same degree as we would be if they were in front of us. This makes the internet even more dangerous because we can not accurately determine the nature of a person over the internet through a textual interaction.

 


Answers to Socratic Questions


Socratic Question #1: Would you call any member of your uni class a friend in the terms of friendship we defined before?


Yes. There is 1 that I would consider in the terms of friendship as defined before.


Socratic Question #2: Do you think that usually a human who is able to make friends and establish functional relationships is on the computer and interacts in the internet?


Yes. But on the same token, I believe that there is also the opposite – those who are not able to make friends or establish functional relationships, and instead turn to the internet to supplement social interaction.


Socratic Question#3: Do you concede that there are people in real life who abuse friends and betray naïve old laides they met in the local senior club and try to get their advantage out of them?


Yes I concede that there are people in real life who abuse friends and betray naive old ladies.


.....And The Floor is Yours.



posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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Response Two



Oh dear me – again!

My dear opponent Carrot must be very, very afraid of people being on the Internet. I am really sorry for you honey!

It seems to me as if all people acting with carrot on the Internet are artificial, illusory or even worse: fraudulent! I am really, really sorry for you Carrot! Nobody expects that you call e. g. every remember on ATS your online friend. No, this was never intended. But the people you finally choose to be your friend, online or offline, they are real.

Today we will look a bit closer in the process, how a person you meet online becomes your friend.


 


At first let me go back to my SQ 1 and 2 of my opening, this needs to get a bit more clarified:


[Orange light]
Socratic Question One:
Do You Believe that only real humans can make friends?



[CA_Orot ]If by “real” humans you mean not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary (As defined by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary) then Yes. I believe that only not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary humans can make friends.




[Orange light]
Socratic Question Two:
Do you think that usually a real human being is sitting at the other end of the Computer?



[CA_Orot]
No. As defined by Merriam Webster “real” is: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary; and I do not believe that usually there is a “real” human being sitting at the other end of the computer.

The term “real” human being assumes that every person on the other end of the computer is not artificial, fraudulent, or illusionary. This terminology does not take into consideration the fact that there are in fact artificial, fraudulent, and illusionary people sitting behind computers, and connected to the internet as well.



View of SQ1: Only real humans are capable of sustaining real relationships, as their relationships will not be artificial, fraudulent or illusory.

View of SQ2: A person who is not artificial, fraudulent or illusory can be sitting behind the computer – just as someone who is artificial, fraudulent, or illusory can be sitting behind the computer as well.


It occurs to me that Carrot strongly believes that a human being sitting in front of her/his computer, getting access to the internet, loses her/his reality somehow, becoming kind of monster, than being artificial, fraudulent, or illusory. Since I, for my very own person, never detected such a metamorphosis when switching my computer on – I have to confess it is an Apple Macintosh, maybe this protects me – I would be very happy if Carrot explains this process a bit to us.

I can assure you, dear reader and dear judges, even being happily involved in online friendship I am not a dumb, careless not thinking user.


 


Now lets have a closer look on the process of a developing online friendship.

How does an online friendship develop?

This outline of the process reflects my experiences with the internet and people I met on the internet since 1999. I met people in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Canada and the United States. I know it is only the experience of one girl, but nevertheless it reflects a long period and a good deal of the Internet using world.

I don’t want to describe this process to complicated. Usually I live my online life in two forums: one German board and ATS, I am also involved in MySpace, and the process I will describe as I experienced it in forums can be transferred easily to MySpace.

How does it usually happen?
You are interested in a certain subject, like UFOs, you do some researches on the Web and you find a forum which seems to be appropriate for your interests. You read a while and than you want to participate. Most forums, unlike ATS, don’t allow anonymous replies, you have to sign up to get access to write comments.


Sooner or later you find one or two threads you will write more frequently in than others. These are usually threads like we know them in General ChitChat of ATS, each forum has such spaces. Then you realize that you are usually interacting on and on with the same persons, or to serve Carrot’s ideas of non-real people, with the same nicks. As in real life you will figure out that there are people you like and others you dislike, some will really annoy you and others treat you like a real human being.

You will get closer to those you like, you will write personal messages or as we say in ATS u2us. It could happen that you don’t get along with a person you liked in thread so much, when writing u2us, no problem. Same phenomenon as in uni classes, you will like some people, go to cafeteria and than realize that you can’t just talk to them beside the stuff of your classes.

But when you are able to talk more than the stuff in thread or in class, you will exchange email-addresses. You get closer, you talk about more personal stuff, you tell the other person your real name, she/he will do the same. You talk about your kids and other personal stuff.

If I met the person in a German forum the next step is exchanging phone numbers. Than you start using a wide variety of communication tools: u2us, emails, the phone.

I met my three best friends in the German board I am in. One, whom I would consider my best friend, lives in the south of Germany. We nearly talk every day on the phone, not to mention the amount of emails we exchange every day. I got a closer relationship to this girl, than to the one I told you about in response 1 whom I met in a sewing class.

Even her son and my son are very close mates meanwhile. I am very grateful for this friendship, which started online.

My second friend is also an online friendship, we met as well on that German forum, talked on the phone, met in person, and now we are very close to each other, although I am over fifteen years older than she is. I bet if we had met at first in real life, we wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know each other, due to the difference in age. I am also very grateful for this friendship.

You see it is always a process, and this process isn’t so much different from real life meeting. Usually you see somebody in class, church or where ever you meet people, you think you can get along with this person, you talk, you exchange phone numbers, you keep talking and maybe meeting if it is possible. And sooner or later you would consider this person as your friend.

It is the same way as it happened to my friends and me.
I wouldn’t demand people on the interent being blue eyed and naive, you should always have your common sense with you and decide towards your gut instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.
I know there are little girls on MySpace, who have their email addy and place of domicile open published on MySpace, which is more than dangerous. But these naive girls lack of caring supervision of responsible adults.

In my next post I will show that fraudulent people not only exists in the web but as well in real life, and that there are also examples comparable to those my dear opponent presented to us with real life imposters.


 


Anserwing the SQ of Carrot


SQ1:
Do you trust a personal friend with personal information about yourself (full name, address, phone number, etc)?



Sure I trust a personal friend not only with these informations, some of my personal friends even know my weight! But not only personal frinds know my name or address etc. also insurance companies or my lawyer know these informations.



SQ2:
Do you trust an online-friend with personal information about yourself (full name, address, phone number, etc)?



Since I wouldn’t consider every member of ATS as an online friend, e.g. Springer, TheBorg or other highly esteemed members of the community of ATS aren’t my online friends, therefore I wouldn’t give them my personal information. If I would befriend really – as elaborated in the process – I would give these information. ATS member Maccassidy and darlin got these informations, since they are online friends who became real friends.



SQ3:
Would you trust a personal-friend with information about your son (Name, birth date, age, etc)?


Yes!


SQ4:
Would you trust an online-friend with information about your son (Name, birth date, age, etc)?


Not every online encounter is an online friendship! If an online encounter becomes a friendship than yes. If it is just an encounter, than no!



SQ5:
Can you, orange-light, prove that I CA_Orot am real (*not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory)


Carrot, I would consider that you are real. I have seen your photo, you have posted different photos always showing the same person. Ok maybe you are always photographing your roommate, which might be. I have also listened to your voice several times on different pod casts.
But I can’t really prove it. On the other hand you usually can’t really prove that the guy next door is what he seems to be.

Even I thought that the man I am still married to was completely different. As I claimed before we all wear our social masks in real life and in the internet. And we should always stick to our common sense or gut feeling.

Now it is your turn again!



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 06:40 AM
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Clarification


It seems to me as if all people acting with carrot on the Internet are artificial, illusory or even worse: fraudulent! I am really, really sorry for you Carrot!

*Bolding is my emphasis

I would like to point out that I did not use the word “all”:

A person who is not artificial, fraudulent or illusory can be sitting behind the computer – just as someone who is artificial, fraudulent or illusory can be sitting behind the computer as well.


The bolded section “just as” shows that I believe there are both types of people on the internet, not just one.


It occurs to me that Carrot strongly believes that a human being sitting in front of his/her computer, getting access to the internet , loses his/her reality somehow, becoming kind of monster, than being artificial, fraudulent or illusory. Since I, for my very own person, never detected such a metamorphosis when switching my computer on – I have to confess it is an Apple Macintosh, maybe this protects me – I would be very happy if Carrot explains this process a bit to us.


I do not strongly believe that a human sitting in front of his/her computer once connected to the internet, loses his/her reality somehow, and becomes a monster. What I DO believe is that reality can becomes skewed in some users. Not that every person sitting behind the computer becomes a monster by some miraculous metamorphosis.

 


Offline & Online Relationships

As Orange pointed out in her second response, developing an online relationship is similar to that of developing a personal friendship. You share beliefs and interests, to determine if you have anything in common. However entering into an online relationship is risky; as the lack of physical interaction leaves both users only at the mercy of each others text. Friendship can not be based on text alone; and here is why.

Let’s suppose we have Person A (PA) and Person B (PB).

In a personal relationship two people might discover that they both love the music by a certain band. In a live interaction, both parties can discuss this band and exchange opinions on songs and albums. If PB isn’t actually into the Band as much as PA is, PA will be able to detect this in the responses made by PB. If PB goes on about this band that really they don’t know anything about–PA can determine that PB was untruthful in leading PA to believe they enjoyed the same band. PA has just caught PB in a lie.

Lets change the scenario. Let’s say that PA and PB meet on the internet, and they both discover they have a shared interest in a Band. PA sends PB a few emails asking them about their favorite Songs by said band. PB, who has no prior knowledge of the band, does the unthinkable: Google’s or Wiki’s the Band in order to gain information about the band for their response. PB sends PA an email with a list of songs they “like” and PA is unaware of the happenings that occurred in between the time they sent their last email to PB.

*This is a basic example but I chose a simple example to demonstrate how misrepresentation, when witnessed in real-time, might cause PA to think twice about interacting with someone who has been untruthful. In the second scenario, PB has MUCH more room to deceive PA into believing that they share the same interests in order to build up a foundation of “similar interests”.

On the larger scale, an internet predator might lie about their age–something which in person is harder to do if the age difference is significant. On the internet, a person has the opportunity to lie about themselves 100%, in order to gain the trust of an unsuspecting victim. It is easy to lie to a person online without them even knowing it. It is easy to fake your age, sex, and location (one of the most commonly asked questions in an internet chat room, often posed as A/S/L?) when you are conversing with a screen and not face to face.

Socratic Question One:
Do you believe that it is easier for someone to lie to someone else in person, or on the internet?


Online Relationships Gone Sour

The first thing to consider is that not all online relationships entered into, are by young adults or teenagers with a lack of supervision. One might be quick to assume that young children and teenagers are the target of Internet Predators, it must be noted adults are targeted as well.

Consider for example, the recent prosecution of man from Edmonton Alberta:


Police allege Twitchell, 29, lured John Brian Altinger to a garage in south Edmonton through a dating website with the promise of meeting a beautiful woman and then killed him in a sequence eerily similar to a film Twitchell was making.

Source

I can’t speculate or pretend to know what Brian Altinger was thinking , but I assume that he trusted the “woman” that he was conversing with online, and that that is why he chose to meet up with her. After all, why would you meet up with someone that you don’t trust? The problem is that Twitchell was able to deceive his victim into believing that he was a woman. This shows how simple it is to become deceived by someone with ulterior motives. You might have all the faith in the world that the person on the otherside of the computer screen is being honest-but you can not know for sure.


Chad Bath, 25, who is also gay, is accused of killing 19-year-old Richard Sneath last summer in a local cruising park. Police say the two met on the chat service gay.com one night last July.

Source

On the website above there are many examples of Gay Men who have met up, only to turn up dead afterwards. Most of them have met on a website that is put together for men with something in common: homosexuality. These men meet on-line, form a friendship/relationship and then agree to meet up. Some of these men have one thing on their mind–sex, while some have something entirely different: murder. Even with the frequency of these murders men are STILL agreeing to meet other men that they have met online, in person.

This demonstrates to me that some of these men have the “It won’t happen to me” mentality. But the truth is–It CAN happen to you. It doesn’t matter how safe you think you are, you are NOT safe. Just because you have been lucky in the past, doesn’t mean you will be lucky in the future when meeting a potential friend.

The internet has made it MUCH easier for predators to carry out their motives by giving them the opportunity to pretend to be whoever they want. Children and adults are tricked by internet predators to believe that they are someone that they are not.


Federal authorities believe that at least 500,000 to 750,000 predators are “on-line” on a daily basis, constantly combing through these blog sites, crawling around in Internet chat rooms and on-line dating services, pretending to be someone and something they’re not.


500,000 to 750,000?! That is a lot of pretenders. How can anyone be certain that they aren’t talking to someone who is purposely trying to lure them into a friendship? No one can be certain, ever, that they are going to be safe from harm when it comes to meeting someone on the internet. Every time you disclose information about yourself to someone online, you are taking a gamble with Life.


The list of Internet victims is much longer and even more gruesome, including both children and adults who first met their attacker via the Internet.

Source for Above two references

The mentality of “It won’t happen to me” is apparent by the increasing numbers of people who use the internet to meet potential friends. Both children and adults make the mistake of exposing themselves to predators. One might expect an adult to know better then to engage in an activity such as meeting up with someone they have met on the internet – but the fact remains that adults can be too trusting too.

Socratic Question Two:
Do you believe that any victim of Internet Predation possibly trusted the Predator and considered them a friend?


So, just how safe are we on the Internet?

Computers logged onto the internet have IP an address that is unique to each computer. Anyone can perform an IP search on anyone else who is logged onto the internet. The answer is that no one is safe on the internet. Any person you meet online could be a potential predator, who is only out to gain one thing from you: Trust. Trust so that they can get closer to you and deceive you by pretending to be someone else.

By performing a simple search in Google and typing in “Locate IP Address” I websites that were able to do exactly that:

IP Lookup
The website above charges money to perform an IP search, but I don’t believe that would sway a predator from seeking to find someone’s IP address.

By giving your phone number to someone you have met online, you are also putting yourself at risk. In Canada and the United States you can perform a “Reverse Look Up” and find the location and address of the person belonging to the landline. So it doesn’t matter if you have only provided them with a phone number, you are still at risk of exposing too much of yourself to a person you’ve just met on the internet.

Reverse Lookup

The above two websites prove one step further, that no one is safe on the internet regardless of how much you trust someone. It should then follow, that if you can not trust someone on the internet: You can not consider them of the same calibre as a real personal friend.

There were no SQ's for me to answer.

The Floor is Yours.



posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 07:42 PM
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I am taking my 24 hours extension.

thank you!



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:09 AM
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Response 3




Clarification

When I claimed that, all people acting with Carrot via Internet seem to be artificial etc. or that it seems to me that Carrot believes that

a human being sitting in front of his/her computer, getting access to the internet , loses his/her reality somehow, becoming kind of monster, than being artificial, fraudulent or illusory
, I was expressing the feeling I got while reading Carrot’s responses. Carrot, if you don’t get theses feelings, it makes me quiet happy, since I know now that I can’t be a monster by myself. Thank you.


 


Real Friendship

I think we should take again a closer look at the terms real and friendship.
Carrot insists that real can only mean

not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory
, and therefore she presumes that a person sitting in front of her/his computer mocks up a personality and pretends easily to be somebody else.

This can’t be denied but it happens all the time in life.
This would cover the fact that somebody becomes kind of illusory, maybe lives in a fantasy – something, which we would clearly admire when our children build up such a fantasy or if our favorite author is able to create a very visionary, fancy novel.

Sometimes people suffer from a loss in reality, which can be a symptom of serious disease. It is possible that such people can still live through the Internet, while mocking up personalities and life scenarios. But look at it very objective! This can happen. But if you be careful, not paranoid, just careful, and try to get to know the person you are talking too, via u2u or contributions to thread, you will detect that some of the real personality always shows through.

Nobody can really keep up a deliberated story forever. Just think about all the stuff she/he has to keep in mind. Stuff, which is connected to a life, which we can easily remember because it has really happened to us.
That is not easy, and an imposter usually doesn’t create a scenario like an author, who notes how a character develops. An imposter tells you story A and than story B, and if you keep attention you will detect it. Just don’t be blue eyed.

My opponent claims that I might have been lucky throughout my Internet life so far. That might be. I am on the Internet since 1999 – ghee ten years of Internet – and 80% of my friends are people I met on the Internet. But it happened to me as well, that there was a person, who pretended to be somebody else, or let’s better say, who pretended to have a different life as she actually had.

It happened as it usually happened, we exchanged emails, we talked on the phone, and we met each other. She very quickly claimed me to be her best friend – something which should have warned me! She talked about her family, about her kids, about her dreams. Yeah Carrot she gave me personal information, very sensitive information, maybe she did it, to make it easier to believe what she really got on her mind.

She pretended to be the girlfriend of a well-known celebrity in Germany. I must admit, I was without any harm and believed at first what she told me. A celeb is a person like anybody else, so why shouldn’t she have met him. She talked about her son and his progress in life and than about her illusory boyfriend. It sounded real, as if she was talking about a real boyfriend, it didn’t matter that she was using the name of that celeb for the story about her boyfriend. It really sounded quiet natural.

But now and then there were gaps she couldn’t fill, that celeb was on the tabloids and even if tabloids are lying to us as well, the lies of that girl and the lies of the tabloids didn’t fit together.
Long story, short end – after telling her that I couldn’t believe it anymore, she still refused that she was lying to me, we splitted.

Could this have happened as well if we wouldn’t have met on the Internet? Sure it could have happened.
Was it a real friendship? In some cases yes! She trusted me, I trusted her. She told me sensitive information about her life, so did I, we have been loyal to each other – if there wouldn’t have been that part with that celeb. And maybe we would still be friends if she had confessed that she just wanted to make her miserable life a bit more interesting with this fantasy.

All definitions of friendship Carrot provided and the results of my survey apply for online friendship as well. I guess nobody with common sense would claim that any member of an online community is automatically just by being a member her/his online friend.

Dear reader, would you claim that the newest member of ATS is your online friend? No you wouldn’t, because you know to use the term friend and friendship very sensitively and reasonably. You would try to get to know to this person, to make up your mind. And after you have gone through the steps of the development of an online friendship, you might consider this person as your friend. A friend who truly earned her/his merits.

All I expect is, to use the Internet and its opportunities not blue-eyed but with common sense.
If you got kids who are on their first steps in this new world, you have to guide them. Advice them never to tell sensitive facts about themselves openly on myspace, facebook or threads in forums. I know a girl, just 12 years old, who openly posted not only her age, but her email address, and the small village she was living in on myspace, her mother didn’t care. When detecting it, I just told her to stop it for self protection. The email address was not a fantasy addy, like “orange.light@………” it contained her full name “john.doe@………”.

Never ever do this!
When realizing that ATS advices this in every posting window, I thought it was a bit over protecting, since this should be self-evident, NOT to post such sensitive datas. But it happens all the time.

But if you be careful, self-protective, an Internet friendship can develop to be a real friendship, even a friendship for life. And honestly you wouldn’t befriend each and every person you saw at the metro station, you would use the same carefulness and you would wait how such a relationship would develop.


 


Socratic Questions of CA_Orot

Socratic Question One:
Do you believe that it is easier for someone to lie to someone else in person, or on the internet?



It depends on her/his qualities in lying.

If you just exchange one or two u2us it will be easier on the internet. The longer the relationship lasts the more difficult it will become.
But if you meet a person just one or two times in real life, it can be also very easily for her/him to lie to you. You just don’t know this person, and this person might be a good liar and you will never know.



Socratic Question Two:
Do you believe that any victim of Internet Predation possibly trusted the Predator and considered them a friend?



I won’t deny it.
But a victim of a real life predation would have trust the predator the same way and considered that person a friend.
Predation is predation – no matter if it happens on the Internet or in your neighborhood.


A short note on imposters and social mask


Masking (Personality Theory) is a process in which an individual changes or "masks" his or her natural personality to conform to social pressures, abuse, and or harassment.

[1]


A role (sometimes spelled rôle as in French) or a social role is a set of connected behaviors, rights and obligations as conceptualized by actors in a social situation. It is an expected behavior in a given individual social status and social position. It is vital to both functionalist and interactionist understandings of society.

[2]

We expect our fellow men to act in a certain way. A mother has to be patient, caring, a banker has to be serious and trustworthy, a priest even more trustworthy, very serious, and very contemplative – maybe your own ideas about the masks and behavior of certain social roles.


Roles may be achieved or ascribed. An achieved role is a position that a person assumes voluntarily which reflects personal skills, abilities, and efforts. Roles are not forced upon the individual; a choice is involved. An ascribed role is a position assigned to individuals or groups without regard for merit but because of certain traits beyond their control (Stark 2007).
Roles are forced upon the individual. Roles can be semi-permanent ("doctor", "mother", "child"), or they can be transitory.

[3]

Think carefully about this. A role can be achieved and it can be ascribed, but somehow it is forced on us. People expect us to react in a certain way. Few people would like a plumber acting like an artist. But does the role of a prist, banker, mother, plumber shows her/his real nature, her/his real personality?
Truly not!
Is this person therefore an imposter and cannot be trusted?
Maybe, if the role, like it happens sometimes, is adapted to pretend to be different than they really are. Everybody has heard about medical imposters.
But usually you can trust somebody wearing his/her social mask.

Back to you Carrot!



posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 03:08 AM
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Response Three

Reality & Virtual Reality

I will not try and argue with anyone, what reality is to them. I am a firm believer that reality is subjective to the individual experiencing it. I believe that everyone experiences life differently, perceives differently and as a result has different views for specific events that happen in “their reality.” However, with that being said, an online reality is not the same as an offline one; and I will demonstrate that a virtual reality can not be supplemented for that of real reality.


Reality
1: the quality or state of being real



Real
2 a: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory

*Bolding is my emphasis

The state of being real equates to reality, therefore reality can not be: artificial, fraudulent or illusory. As these are defined by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary as not being components of “real”.

Virtual Reality

There are some of us on ATS who are familiar with the term “virtual reality”. In fact, there are many people at your work, school, or even in your family – who would be considered to be part of a virtual reality. I would consider any website that encourages interaction between members (such as ATS, BTS, PTS, chat rooms, or any other forum) a virtual reality. For example, in the DATS Thread) each member takes on a character role and essentially plays a part. Each member is able to write their own lines, determine their own actions, and take on an online-identity. Let’s take a look at semantics first:


virtual reality
:an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment

Bolding is my emphasis
Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary – Source for above 3 defintions

According to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary, a virtual reality is artificial. Now, the definition of real, clearly outlaws “artificial”. So by this logic – a virtual reality can not bet real, as it is artificial. Let’s take it one step further:

Consider the following argument (with points 1 and 2 being the premises, and 3 being the conclusion):
1. Online “Friends” are components of a virtual reality.
2. A virtual reality is artificial.
3. Online Friends, are not the same as real friends.

This argument is deductively valid because: people who have met online have met in an artificial environment; and since the environment is artificial, online friends are not the same as real friends. To be a real friend, means that one is not artificial.

 


Addressing orange-light's statements


Nobody can keep up a deliberated story forever.


I disagree. I believe that there are people out there who are capable of such a thing. People who have lied so much, for so long, that it becomes habitual in nature to them. I believe, that in the event of a mental illness or a chemical imbalance even, that a person is capable of believing their own lies – thus making it easier for them to keep up with the lies they have told.

There is a serious problem when it comes to an online relationship: no person can ever be completely sure about another person.

Even if they were being one hundred percent honest, or fifty percent honest: there is no definite way to know if a person whom you has just met on the internet – is telling you the truth, or telling you lies. A person could change their personal details ever so slightly, and still be able to keep track of the lies that they have told. The scary fact, is that there exist in this world – some people who are really quite good, at deceiving people.

If you take ATS for example: pick a thread, look at the avatar’s and usernames, and try to determine the gender of the poster.

In some cases it is possible to assume which members are female, and which are male. Some users have a more feminine font used, or what we perceive as feminine colors, or even feminine images. There are some users who have very masculine images, fonts and colors in their avatars.

Some use their real pictures, and some of them openly tell other members their gender: but the truth is, we don’t know. Take for example, a specific moderator. When I first joined ATS, the colors in this particular moderator’s avatar were what I thought to be feminne (purple), with a silhouette image: I immediately assumed that they were female. When I heard the Modcast’s that is when I was proved wrong.


But if you be careful, self-protective, an Internet friendship can develop to be a real friendship, even a friendship for life


When it comes down to it, it does not matter how careful you are, or how self protective you are. If an internet predator has falsely tricked you into a friendship and gained your trust, they have already won. You can not be one hundred percent sure that a person on the internet is who they say that they are.

You could meet a person online, and they could deceive you right from the start - by creating a completely separate identity. A predator wants to gain your trust. A predator wants you to believe that they are your friend. A predator has a motive - and the ability to lie to fulfill that motive. The internet provides a screen between an internet predator and the internet prey. A screen that they can hide behind and project whatever type of image of themselves that they want.

In the event that both parties have a web-cam, you could visually confirm the age and gender of a person you have met online. But the thoughts and the motives behind their actions? You can never know - as these are the things they will not disclose to you. You can not know if the stories they have told you are true. You can not know, if anything they have told you about themselves is true. They'll talk to you about their parents, they can fabricate stories about relationships, and they can feed you all sorts of information about themselves (that may or may not be true) in an attempt to gain your trust.

There was a saying "Don't judge a book by its cover." The boy or the girl on the other end of the webcam might LOOK like a nice, honorable person that you can trust, but the fact is: YOU CAN'T.


We expect our fellow men to act a certain way. A mother has to be patient, caring, a banker has to be serious and trustworthy, a priest even more trustworthy, very serious and very contemplative - maybe your own ideas about the masks and behavior of certain social roles.


We do expect bankers, doctors, lawyers, priests, mothers and fathers to act in a certain way. We expect bankers to be trustworthy, doctors to be moral, lawyers to be honest, priests to be righteious, and mothers and fathers to be loving. But these types of expectations, come from society and its views and ideas of ethics.

This same code of ethics can not apply to the internet. A person on the internet does not owe to another person: to be trustworthy, moral, honest, rigtherious, or loving - as people on the internet are NOT in the public eye and therefore do not have to conform to the societies idea of "what is ethically right."

The internet is very different from society, and different from reality. And because of these factors: An online friend, can not be the same as a personal friend. The circumstances are different, the setting is different, and most of all - The people are different.



And its Your Turn....



posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 07:52 AM
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Closing




I totally agree with my dear opponent CA_Orot on the idea that everybody got her/his own reality. Part of my reality is my political and spiritual believes, my way of living, my look on live. This reality has been created through my experiences in life, and therefore it can change mostly every minute.


Carrot argued throughout the debate that a real won’t mean, among others being fraudulent. I have to disappoint you, my dear readers and dear judges. Certainly any of our fellow human beings can be fraudulent. How would you judge the fellow standing next to you at the shelf of the super market? A real human being, right – ah Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines real being not fraudulent – great this guy is real, therefore he can’t be fraudulent.

I can see even through this virtual reality everybody shaking his or her head. And you are right. You can never say.


You even can’t claim anymore that people are not somehow artificial.


artificial
1: humanly contrived often on a natural model : man-made < an artificial limb > < artificial diamonds >

Merriam Webster
emphasis mine

I would like to refer to another fantastic debate of this forum: www.abovetopsecret.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow"> "Enough Is Enough, Right?" . This debate dealt with breast augmentation, which is a part of the very popular field of plastic surgery or esthetic surgery. In these days you can’t be sure if your neighbor is not somehow artificial. The nose you see every day might be the result of such a surgery, or his bright and beautiful smile might be the work of a good dentist.
Even my mother is partial artificial, she has got her second hip implant, and as far as I know also an artificial knee. But I can assure you she is real! I can touch her, I can hug her.


Carrot claims:

There is a serious problem when it comes to an online relationship: no person can ever be completely sure about another person.

Even if they were being one hundred percent honest, or fifty percent honest: there is no definite way to know if a person whom you has just met on the internet – is telling you the truth, or telling you lies.



The problem in life is, we can never look into the brains of our fellow human beings, even if we wish it desperately, we can’t. We can only think our own thoughts, not the one of our spouse, our brother, our sister, our parents, our friends and our foes. That is one of the human dilemmas.

Being unable to do this, we can never – not on Internet, not in Real Life – be sure that the one we are talking to is 100% honest to us. We just have to give up that thought. Lies are part of human society and human living. Most people aren’t even honest to themselves. So what do you expect? And I am not talking that lies are right, but being honest, we have to admit that lies are part of our life, if you like it or not!

Some people live in fantasies, they create their own vision of life, in reality and in virtuality. As long as nobody is harmed with it and if the person is not ill, just having a fantasy, I can’t see anything wrong with it. Most people, who do this, have a very poor and miserable life, and this brings a certain quality to them.

Carrot claims, that in a virtual reality, you couldn’t judge the book by its cover. As yourself: Is this possible in real or non-virtual life? No it isn’t! The guy on the ladder in workman clothes could be a university professor just fixing his window frames! You can’t even be sure, that the guy is really a guy. He can be a she, looking very manly, or being a transsexual!
That’s for outer appearance!

Carrot also claims that there are predators on the Internet. I can’t disagree this fact.
Even her statement:

A predator wants to gain your trust. A predator wants you to believe that they are your friend. A predator has a motive - and the ability to lie to fulfill that motive.

is so true.

But do predator only appear on Internet? Again: NO. I guess everybody has heard about the old lady next door, who has lost all her savings because that nice looking young man, whom she trusted so dearly, was a predator.
Or the shy daughter of cousin Neville, she was deceived by this marriage swindler.
Or just remember the recent financial crisis. Even honorable bankers betrayed their costumers. Many lost their money.
If we just think for a while, everybody could lengthen this little list of examples of predators in real life.

If you like it or not: the Internet and therefore the virtual reality has become part of our life. It bears dangers, as any part of our life, this cannot be denied. Therefore we have to learn to use this opportunity, which the Internet bears wisely.

It would be a lovely world without any predators. But this thought is just unrealistic, it is a dream. Viciousness or infamousness seems to be a part of human nature – maybe an interesting topic for a future debate – we just have to deal with it. As long as war is part of our life, we just have to accept the more or less evil nature of some human beings.

Since Internet is a valuable part of our life, we should be thankful for the opportunities it bears. I am very grateful. It helps me to communicate not only with my friends but also with my customers. I was able to meet a bunch of human beings whom I would have never met without the Internet. And I made many friends, whom I wouldn’t have found without the Internet.

Use your common sense, be careful, but don’t be too paranoid. Take the chances you are offered. Take them wisely. Don’t call any buddy you meet your friend, as well as you won’t call any guy you meet at the traffic light at the corner of the street your friend.

Get to know each other and than you will detect by own experience, that Internet friends are as real as a friend you met in your sewing class.


 



I am very grateful for this debate. Thanks again to MemoryShock for making it possible. A very special thank you to CA_Orot for being my opponent, deny it or not: you are a great online friend, and I trust in you.

And I would finally thank the three friends, whom I met online but who became a huge part in my life. Thank you LS, NR and TB that you are always there when I need you and that you are real friends!



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 03:40 AM
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Closing Statements

The debate topic was: Online friends are just as real as Personal friends.

In Summary

The Internet is a very large, informative, and entertaining place; I can not take those things away from it. However the internet just as everything in life has its flip side: the dangerous side, the side that can not be trusted. And just as in real life this dangerous side of the internet is where Internet Predators lurk. Searching for unsuspecting prey in an attempt to gain their trust, and later use that trust to deceive them to fulfill their ulterior motives.

Adults and children are potential prey for internet predators–this is a fact. In my first response I mentioned a 13 year old girl who was the target of an internet prank. The person who instigated the prank was a fellow neighbor, and the mother of an ex-friend. The mother created a false account on MySpace, and then used that account to create a “relationship” with the child. The 13 year old girl believed she was conversing with a 16 year old boy. The girls parents were also tricked into believing that their daughter could trust this new online-friend.

This story proves that both adults and teenagers are not capable of determining an internet predator from a potential friend. A predator who is very good at what they do will be able to gain the trust of anyone. It is my belief, that there are predators out there who are so good at deceiving and gaining the trust of people all over the world, that they may never be caught. And for that reason alone, we are potential victims to these types of people anytime and every time that we “think” we can trust someone online. A predator that is good at what they do will be able to deceive anyone.

To further reiterate my point, in my second response I shared a story of a young man, 29 years in age, who believed he would be meeting up with a woman he met online. I believe the victim Brian Altinger trusted this person he met online (Twitchell) as actually being a woman – otherwise I don’t think he would have met up with “her”. This 29 year old adult man, Altinger, was the victim of internet predation.

Orange-light presented us with a very personal approach to this debate by using personal examples of her online friends and her online life. By comparing the process of developing a friendship in real-life, to that of an online friendship, she has proved that both processes are the same. However, what she has not shown is that perception is skewed when the environment is changed. In a real-life situation, a person is more able and better equipped to determine safe and dangerous situations. In science based courses – students are taught that these defense mechanisms are built into the human body. These defense mechanisms are tailored to aid us the best way that they can, in real life situations. In an online situation these defense mechanisms are not nearly as useful as they are in real life, as our bodies are not designed to defend ourselves in an online situation. We become vulnerable online, and are unable to use our defenses to the best of our abilities.

The fundamental building blocks of a friendship are transferable to an online situation. The qualities of a friend are expected in both situations: honest, loyal, and trustworthy. Any person that is to be considered a friend should be all of these things. But the problem is: in an online situation there is no guaranteed way of proving that a person is honest, loyal, or trustworthy for that matter. Words on the screen are just that, words on the screen. If I tell the reader that I am 5 foot 7, the reader is most likely to believe it. Whether it is true or not, is irrelevant.

The reader does not know my true height, and is unable to prove otherwise that I have misinformed them. Just as it is possible for me to lie about my height, anyone on the internet is capable of lying about their age, gender, occupation, interests, hobbies, etc. Being truthful about oneself is not a requirement to be on the internet, and as I stated in my opening post: being real is not a requirement to play.

It is estimated that there are between 500,000 and 750,000 (as cited in my second response) internet predators online per day. Which further proves – that we can not be safe on the internet; there are predators all over.

I think parts of the reason people are so trusting, is because of their mentality. The “it won’t happen to me attitude”. It sounds a little bit like a smoker’s argument against quitting: “Lung Cancer? It won’t happen to me.” But it does happen and it can happen to anyone. No smoker is exempt from the possibility of lung cancer, and no web user, is safe from the possibility of an online predator posing as a potential friend.

In Canada, there is a website: the reverse lookup (as shown near the end of response two). This is a site where any person can type in the phone number of any other person and receive information. Upon typing in my father’s telephone number – his name, address, and location came up on the screen. The telephone number was a landline. When I typed in my own cell phone number, I received only the town that my cell-phone is based from. In the event of providing someone you think you trust with your phone number – you have not only put yourself at risk, but those who live in the same house as you: parents, children, nieces, nephews, families, and roommates.

It is true that some people wear masks in public to safeguard who they really are, or in hopes to deceive others. But the problem occurs when this stems into an online world – where we are unable to read a person’s body language and behavior. A person on the internet could be wearing a completely different costume then the one they have led us to believe they are wearing, and without being subject to our visual field where we can interact with them and “read” them, we are unable to do this efficiently and effectively on the internet.

It is all good and well to preach “common sense” to web users, and in fact it is encouraged. Even on ATS as orange-light pointed out, there is a warning under each reply box that reads as follows:


Please do not post your own personal information. You should be aware that any personally identifiable information you submit here can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit, and may remove it at our discretion.


But, the problem is that not everyone follows this advice; and even if they do follow this advice and take the necessary precautions one can still be a victim of internet predation. A person could be very careful about the information they provide to an online acquaintance, and, as a result of interaction a friendship or a relationship could form. After a significant amount of time one could start to trust this other person, and start to disclose personal information. But what if, the counterpart in this said “relationship” has been fraudulent and been deceiving the other person the entire time? What if, they have in fact been interacting with a “predator?” What if, the predator has been “laying the groundwork” for a considerable amount of time in order to gain a person’s trust? Then it doesn’t matter if the person has been careful, or has used common sense – they have still exposed themselves to an online predator after what they believe to be an appropriate amount of time to ascertain trust. The predator has succeeded in their task of establishing trust – something that is present in a friendship.


Even my mother is partial artificial, she has got her second hip implant, and as far as I know also an artificial knee. But I can assure you she is real! I can touch her, I can hug her.


I would like the reader to note that the definition of artificial used in this context, refers to a limb, or otherwise medically replaced body part. It does not match the implied meaning when used in conjunction with the term real, that is, artificial in terms of being fake. (For example: She flashed him an artificial smile).

In conclusion – Why an Online Friend is not as real as a Personal Friend

A Person friend is trusted with personal and sensitive information about yourself. A personal friend is trusted to babysit your children. A personal friend is trusted with your address. An online person can not be trusted with any of these things – as it is impossible to determine through a computer screen if someone is worthy of your trust. All it takes is a person to say the right things to you, in order to give you the “feeling” that they are someone who can be trusted.

Online Friends are part of a virtual reality. A virtual reality is defined as being an artificial environment. A person who exists in an artificial environment can not be real, in the same sense as a personal friend. A real personal friend – is not artificial, and artificial just so happens to be in the definition of virtual reality. To be a real friend, is to be not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory; and an online person is artificial.

 


I would like to again, thank orange-light for the interesting debate, it was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again. Thank you to MemoryShock for hosting this debate. And a very big thank you the readers & judges who we’ve kept entertained for the past week-ish.




Thank You.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 12:41 PM
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Results are in!!

Congratulations Orange-Light, who wins this one by majority decision.

The judges comments:




First, I'd like to thank both CA_Orot and orange-light for going head-to-head on this issue. Being ATS members makes this topic especially troublesome, as many here would consider each other friends. The question posed here makes each and every person question their affiliations with others that they encounter while online. Not altogether a bad thing... Actually, it's quite refreshing.

You both present strong arguments that require one to analyze what it is that makes someone a friend. This makes a judgment difficult, when both sides do such a good job of presenting their arguments.

orange-light: Your side seemed to be the easiest to support, as there was more than one way to approach it. You chose the personal experience avenue, which suited you very well. You responded well to arguments posed by CA_Orot. Also, you engage her with very appropriate Socratic Questions, which did a lot to help your cause.

One thing that confused me though was when you were talking about your online experiences. It's one thing to meet someone online, and then carry on an offline relationship. It's quite another to meet someone online, and ONLY socialize with them over the internet. There is a lot more room to make mistakes in judgment of character here than there are in person.


CA_Orot: You make a solid argument that outlines why it isn't possible for online friends to be true friends. You responded very well to the Socratic Questions posed by orange-light, and you posed some zingers yourself. I especially liked the cases that you cited. Very thought-provoking. Those helped your case immensely.

The only real problem I had with your argument was that you didn't observe the same things happening offline as you say happen online. People get taken advantage of offline as much or moreso offline than they do online. While the internet has made fraud a lot easier on criminals, there are still basic safeguards that users can take to secure themselves, and it is my belief that they CAN make friends online. Meaningful relationships are the foundations of many leading websites. I'd even bet that the owners and moderators here at ATS are what orange-light would call "friends".


All of this said, it is my opinion that orange-light just barely squeaks by with the victory, as she clearly understands that the behaviors exhibited by people online are also experienced by people offline. She has used personal experience as a guide to help her make a judgment call on the validity of the question posed, and it is my opinion that she presents the most convincing argument.

I'd like to take this time to thank both of you, orange-light, and CA_Orot, for your participating in this VERY INTERESTING debate. You had me guessing there for a while who was going to come out in the lead on this one.




Judgment; Orange-light wins.

Openings;

Both fighters present very well in the opening. CA-Orot comes out fighting and defines the topic nicely, and also lays the foundation for her argument. I see a problem with her use of the definition for the word "real" right off the bat. That is a problem for orange-light to deal with or not however, and we will have to see if she does. Orange-lights opening is less well organized, but she also had the first post and thus had nothing aside from the topic to guide her.


Round One;

Orange-light does indeed pick up on the problem with CA_Orot's use of the definition for the word "real." And, more importantly, she counters it by pointing out that a real person can wear a social mask or be "fraudulent." O. also effectively counters the other elements of C.'s opening statement, and defines friendship herself.

CA_Orot begins round one by trying to reinstate her use of the definition of real. However, her logic in doing so is really very poor. She is indeed as O. pointed out confusing a real person with the integrity of that real person. CA_Orot later in round one seems that she is using Descartes argument about only being certain of his own existence as justification for her use of the definition for "real" but if that line of reasoning is followed, any offline friend's reality is just as questionable as an online friend's reality is.

She also attempts to define friendship in a way that requires honesty, loyalty, and trustworthiness. This seems to tie into the line she is taking with her use of the definition of real. This line of argument is easily rebutted, if O. again picks it up. For instance in her deductive reason she states;


If premise one and two are correct, then the conclusion is deductively valid.


The problem is, she never proved premise one was the case. She just stated that it was.

Round two;

Orange-light again effectively counters virtually all CA_Orots arguments. She did not specifically address the "honesty, trust, loyalty," aspect, and she really should have. She touched upon it in a less formal way in her reply, but it would have been nice to see it addressed more concretely. O.'s style is more conversational and less formal than C.'s, and one of the downsides with this style is that you can let points slip by with only a slight response when they call for a firmer reply.

CA_Orots response was more evidence for how dangerous the internet can be, and the opportunities that it provides for lying and deception. Good points, but O. has already pointed out that this is possible in person as well.

Round three;

Orange-light again counters with the argument that there is also potential for lying in person. And danger in person. What O. doesnt do, again, is really address C.'s requirement for honesty, loyalty and trust in a friendship. She has already addressed the honesty portion.

CA_Orot is continuing with "reality." This was one of the most questionable parts of her opening, and it has remained very problematic throughout. Here in round three she is returning to it with full force, and not taking advantage of the small concessions she has won from O. (As a result of O. not rebutting them) that loyalty and tustworthiness are necessary to friendship.

Closing; No real surprises here. O. again points out the logical flaw with the "reality" issue. C. again showers us with examples of the danger of online deception.


Summary;

CA_Orot has very fine form for debate. She lays out her case very nicely. She uses logic, carefully watches her points, and addresses her opponents points. For her, there was only one problem, but it was a major one. Logical form is only a form. If used correctly, you do indeed come out with a valid argument. However, logically valid arguments can be UNTRUE. The conclusion is only true in a deductive argument if the premises are sound. C. began with a really flawed argument about reality. It wavered from "people sitting at a keyboard can lie, therefore they arent real" to "I can only be certain I am real therefore I cannot know they are real," and ended with even more relativistic statements about reality. If her argument was considered as factual, it still would not have supported her own side of the debate, because, we could not consider lying people you know in person "real" either. And, since you are only you, the Descartes argument makes everyone "unreal." Neither of which support a case for offline friends being more "real" friends than online friends. Moral of the story, form is wonderful, but the content is crucial.

Orange-light could really stand to take a look at C.'s form. It really pays to carefully address EVERY point your opponent brings up. The more conversational style of debate is dangerous in that you can run away with your "story" and forget to address key points. Also, if English is a second language, it can help make certain your audience is following you if you outline your argument more formally. Here, however, orange-light had content, and a sound argument no matter how informally presented.

Orange-light wins.


Edit for spacing.

[edit on 23-1-2009 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 12:50 PM
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Congratulations Orange! And Carrot too. Both of you guys did GREAT!

Hysterical. I was just in this thread maybe 30 seconds before MS posted the judgments. lol I was just wondering why there was no 'Good job guys. We'll have the results shortly' post. Then the judgments come in.

This was a fun debate to read. Once again like with Heike and Sky's Horse debate, the second I saw the title when this debate was first posted, I thought 'Orange has this in the bag.' I've simply come to care too much about you guys to think that it is an illusion.

Then just like the horse/bike debate, Carrot fired up and did a good job where this wasn't a 'case closed' topic from the start like I originally thought it would be.

Congratulations to Orange for the win and to Carrot for taking on the position that would be very difficult to beat but you still brought in some points I never would have thought of.

Both of you guys were awesome!

And no, I wasn't a judge. It was just a debate I had a lot of interest in and kept up with. lol

[edit on 1/23/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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thanks ashley!


this was really fun for me, but i guess i have mentioned it before

i am really quiet happy that carrot did this debate with me - thanks again honey - and it wasn.t easy, i was sweating quiet often of carrot.s arguments and had to think about them very carefully! but thanks again for bringing them up!


thanks memory for hosting and thanks for the judges for taking the time to write so wonderful statements. they will help a lot in future debates!

congratulations to carrot for her very first debate! well done!



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 01:19 PM
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Congratulations Orange!
Thank you for the great debate, it really was a pleasure to do!

Thank You, MemoryShock for hosting the debate, and a very big thank-you to the judges for the comments!

- Carrot





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