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Why is civil debate impossible on ATS?

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posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:09 PM
I'm sooo glad you posted this. I have been thinking the exact same thing! I don't even post much anymore due to the total rudeness and total disrespect. Even on a UFO thread, people still find a way to become donkey butts! I think some just come on to spread hate and disrespect. I say it's the intellect level that really shines through with the ones that feel the need to just be obnoxious!

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts
"(I'm sure this thread will degrade into the afformentioned 'battle of the twits' before the first page is done!)"

You just fell into the hole that you dug in the first place.

Besides that I've learned here on ATS that it is hard to have a battle of wits with unarmed twits.

And have a wonderful day. I hope you solve that cranial rectosis problem soon.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:13 PM
I have four words to explain this phenomenon.


I occasionally fit into one of those categories.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:17 PM
I dont think it is impossible.

i've had many debates with people who have strong views but just voice it in the correct way

and i thank them for that.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:22 PM
Good thread! I think it's important to talk about.

Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
Why is civil debate impossible on ATS?

It isn't impossible. Each person must make the choice and commitment to remain civil. If other people don't remain civil, that's not an excuse to jump into the muck. But I'm not always successful, either.

I don't accept that ad hominem attacks are the only way to get your point across, nor are they a sign of someone being focused or passionate. Those are excuses to jump in the muck. Ad hominems are a sign that someone is losing a debate. Else why resort to talking about each other instead of TO each other ABOUT the topic? Staying civil is simply a choice. Not always an easy one, either.

I do agree with you that there are very few civil debates on ATS, outside the debate section, but it's not impossible. People are making choices to go there. To not be civil.

I personally believe it's all part of the "you're either with us or against us" attitude that has prevailed in recent years. It has become more important for people to be "right" than to be informed.

And Rams59lb is right. There are people who ENJOY having non-civil arguments and fights. Myself, I enjoy staying civil in the face of them.
That's where my juice is.

I have to agree with whaaa, too. This is a common mindset in some of the popular political personalities. But it's ugly and sad and makes a terrible statement about our culture...

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:26 PM
Maybe it's time to revisit The D-ego.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 03:30 PM
Q: why is civil debate is impossible on ATS?
A: because its the same everywhere else.

Point you may want to consider, better to have a one way civil conversation than a 2 way uncivil one. To coin a phrase:

'there is nothing more you can do here or anywhere than be civil, and hope to god the rest of the human race obliges.'


posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:05 PM
Well, I never said that I too don't get caught up into the very problem I stated in the OP. Everyone of us does from time to time. We're only human. But there are those who do it all the time. I love this site because I learn something new each day. Any thread or post that has a link to source material, I read it and then come to a conclusion. Sometimes it changes my mind, or at least makes me more informed, and sometimes it solidifies my preconceived notions. Let's face it, we've all run into members who don't feel it's necessary to do so.

As to my avatar (which so many seem to want to comment on), it's just a reflection of my sense of humor, nothing more, nothing less. I do find it ironic that even though it says "Your problem is obvious", so many are taking it to say "My problem is obvious". Trust me, it's the last place in the world that I would want to stick my head! I know what comes out of it!

[edit on 30-8-2009 by JaxonRoberts]

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:12 PM

Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
I love this site because I learn something new each day.

Nice point.
I do too.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:12 PM

Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
([re avatar): I do find it ironic that even though it says "Your problem is obvious", so many are taking it to say "My problem is obvious".

You know Jax, I get the feeling your profile avatar is doing you more favors than you realize, anyone mistakenly pointing out a humorous avatar claiming it is you has clearly run out of subject matter to debate ;-)


posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:15 PM
reality is a very fixed way of seeing things, and given that so many people are supposedly inhabiting it i find it very surprising indeed that so much disagreement can occur, either people are living in very different realities or have a level of imagination far greater than their capacity to harness it for good use!!

I'm really sorry for the double post that was an accident ;(

[edit on 30-8-2009 by 7redorbs]

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:25 PM
In my experience most people in the A&U forum manages to stick to the topic and treat each other with some basic respect. The same goes for the Fragile Earth forum and the Space Exploration forum, the other forums I spend most time in.

But any thread dealing with politics or 911 or religion... Ouch! Personally I have decided to just stay away from these topics. I can't take all the hate and rage. It's depressing as hell, and so very, very pointless in my opinion. I guess it IS possible that someone has changed their mind about Obama or Bush or National Health Care in a thread, but to me it seems that people's minds are firmly made up (closed..?) long before they ever enter the discussions.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 04:30 PM

Originally posted by ziggystar60
I guess it IS possible that someone has changed their mind about Obama or Bush or National Health Care in a thread, but to me it seems that people's minds are firmly made up (closed..?) long before they ever enter the discussions.

I agree. I know mine is.
I have my opinions on certain subjects and unless I see something compelling otherwise, I'm not going to change my mind. But my purpose isn't to get anyone to change their minds... My purpose is to have fun. For me, it's FUN to debate, whether someone changes their mind or not. I don't have any such expectations. I just love to debate for the sake of it.

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 05:01 PM
its impossible because people are ignorant and stupid.

you've got the rebublicans/democrats arguin over nothing. drawin their lines in the sand and automatically disregarding what the other side says without listening.

then you got the skeptics and believers. the skeptics look at things rationally, demanding evidence, whereas the believers will believe any silly thing they hear, jump to incredible conclusions without evidence, and insist that anyone who doesnt agree with there childish ideas is an idiot. although the hardcore skeptics also gotta problem because they refuse to believe anything that doesnt fit into their frame of mind.

thats the main problem i see. people who believe everything they hear and then argue about it to death.

a lot of it though is also just some people cant read right or somethin. lets say someone says "how do you know theirs aliens"

"oh i've seen a ufo"

and???? that has nothing to do with aliens at all. and people start arguing, and then start arguing about different things, and it just escalates.

for a site that claims denying ignorance...theirs a lot of ignorant people

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 07:48 PM

Originally posted by whaaa
[...] where it really isn't a debate but but slash and burn tactics where education isn't the point but winning at all cost is. Personal attacks and name calling are just part of the strategy.

I call it the "People like you" mind set/ideology.

It's also called Hasbara... and there is an official Hasbara Handbook for how to win debates with such methods. This is why I call people Hasbara-inistas... for those that seem they know the book by the back of their hand and use it more than effectively and quite readily.

Here is some of research about the handbook as used in its usual context:

Hasbara, Shmuel Rosner and the Israel Factor

Reading the article, and especially the comments of Abba Eban, a former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., I wondered why it was that pro Israel debaters were so successful. And not only the article, but the comments posted after it here make instructive reading -- and actually led me to an answer.

Albert, December 9, 2006 12:27 PM wrote:

There has been also no such comparable situation to a living President having to introduce in a LA times editorial, the reality of what we are not getting in most of the press - the fact there are few Universities inviting him in, he is being blacklisted. A Nobel Prize really goes far nowadays, unless you speak against the reality of what is going on in regards to Israel and Apartheid Policies.

Earlier in the same comment, Albert had written:

The hysteric, over-the-top comments you've received [referring to another commentor, Bill Pearlman] are wonderful for saving with this file together, for several classroom teaching purposes. And we do use these, believe me.

The comments, the nature of their language and intentions, just hammer the point home as to why we Americans are tired of Israel, the very real Israeli lobby money forcing itself as the sole center of our political rights.

There has been NO comparable historical situation with a living President actually being called out for treason, because he dares to SPEAK ON A SUBJECT! And he disagrees with the power of the Israel lobby.

As I read through the comments, especially those by "Bill Pearlman" (not reproduced here because of their scurillity), it struck me that I had heard similar pro-Israel arguments before; and that the responses were equally stereotyped and mechanically reflex-like. Almost as if there were some kind of manual being referenced.

Sure enough, further down the thread

Alan December 10, 2006 4:39 PM wrote:

As your Hasbara manual declares, when out of your depth and when exposed as a bigot, it's better to leave quietly.[...]

Not knowing what a "Hasbara manual" was, I Yahoogled, and wound up at SourceWatch here.

which spoke of the existence of -- a "Manual"!! And it wasn't a piece of fluff either -- at 131 pages long, it promises to be my bedtime reading for many weeks to come.

You can find the Manual HERE. The emphases in the passage are mine.

Hasbara Manual, page 32:

Seven Basic Propaganda Devices

Propaganda is used by those who want to communicate in ways that engage the emotions and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote a certain message. To effectively present Israel to the public, and to counter anti-Israel messages, it is necessary to understand propaganda devices.

This article applies a list of seven propaganda devices to the Israeli situation, and by doing so allows an understanding of some of the ways in which public opinion is fought for in the International arena.

Thus what this manual is explicitly (and revealingly) about is ways to help the user win battles, not to find out the truth of the matter.

The seven basic propaganda devices are:


The 'bandwagon' tactic is usually why you start to see people create more than one account. They'll debate others to form an 'ad populum' or they debate themselves to form an 'ad nauseum' to the thread.

[edit on 30-8-2009 by dzonatas]

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 08:02 PM
reply to post by dzonatas

Nice! I never heard of this Hasbara before...and I love the whole business of tricky false presentation stylistics...
You have just put some happiness in my path
Thank you.

posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 05:19 AM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
I think it comes down to the subject matter Jaxon.

However it's more when people come here with a bias look on a subject, we attempt to educate them, as any friend would do. It scares the crap out of them I think.

I've NEVER used the ignore button as even those people could post something that would change my mind, I simply don't reply to their ignorance when it shows up.

It's hard to not sometimes, but it's getting better as the months go along.

Hopefully this one will be civil eh?


Think you hit the nail on the head. Subject matter. I would like to add that it took me 7 years of research on 911 and UFO's to stumble across this site. By that time I was and still am furious at the PTB. I think alot of us are in that boat and our anger comes out here. Most of are out of school and have had kids so it easier for us to not be moved by someone slaming us. It's one of those neccesary eveils though that makes this site awsome. A full view from all thing you.

ohh yeah I forgot, the PTB probably post here also like that to derail or keep truth hidden

[edit on 8/31/2009 by Grayelf2009]

posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 05:42 AM
In reference to 9-11 debate,etc.I must state the position that IF 9-11 was an inside job(MIHOP)Any paid apologists on ATS are as culpable as any other operator conspirator,just unindicted and after the fact.We're talking the most serious of crimes here,mass murder,terrorism and treason.Not to miss thievery and war making.And telling lies.Serious stuff,not just collegiate debate club topics.And we've been lied to a lot.To the point where we are fighting mass cognitive dissonance,where the result has been mental paralysis in the main body politic.So the only question in my mind is are the OP story tellers posting on the 9-11 threads,the ones oblivious to other possibilities,paid shills or not?Can't hold a debate and reach a logical set of options to further winnow to reach the kernel of truth with such,they're hiding the truth and so doing enmesh themselves with the perps.Serious stuff,unpleasant,but like surgical debridement,necessary to protect against infection.No one likes the scrub nurse coming at ya with that scrubbie,yowch it always hurts...But you have the condition and closing the eyes won't make it go away.But don't worry,there's plenty of krazy glue for repair...

posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:10 AM
The two sacred cows in avoiding an argument are don't talk about politics or religion. The basic theme here is politics and religion. People take a good piece of their identity and security from the views they hold in these areas. And, as has been said, comments here tend to be generalizations coming off as absolutes. Also, people in general never do anything without a leader to follow. They just want to vent. Then you have people who seem to be deliberately subversive and those who think they are important (the egos). Then you have those who think it's a game you win with intimidation (bullies). Then you have the misdirection, etc.. I think you can only have an intelligent discussion when you have established both a common cause, an imminent need, a commitment to accomplish and leadership that is respected. People have to believe in the light at the end of the tunnel. There's no light here on ATS.

posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:22 AM
We have had a large influx of new people who probably have had little experience on a professional board.
The arguemnts I see on here now I can go to yahoo to see.

I think issues have become so heated for everyone and they are looking for places to vent them.

Because the same issues are getting hashed over and over and important topics that used to get attention are getting ignore.

It also used to be that experienced members would put you in your place.

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