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Members of AboveTopSecret.com: I'm Sad… And Maybe You Are Too…

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posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Oh that's easy. I was gone for almost year because this place devolved into a pit of nastiness. It's still the same. I don't think telling people to behave is going to work. You already have people sniping at others in a thread telling others not to do it.

In fact, I think it's hopeless. You can certainly begin to enforce the rules even-handedly again, but even that will just censor the political fighting rather than fix the problem. You currently live a society where the media makes great money pitting two sides against each other. Other outlets make money creating an insulated world for people of certain political persuasion. This has lead to an America where there are no facts. If you don't believe then it's just not a fact even if it can be proven without doubt.




Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one become aware of it; or, if it should be noticed, excuses must be at hand to be produced immediately.-Niccolo Machiavelli


We live in Machiavelli's world do we not? If you can't even acknowledge and agree on a set of facts then what hope is there? Hardly anyone knows the meaning of the terms they use. People just cling to their sides with politics serving as a game of football. It's become some perverse form of entertainment in which they can blame someone for their troubles. There is a sense of hopelessness among the people so they just give in. Mark my words, it will just get worse and more violent. The economy probably won't survive the Fed taper. Banks are still involved in their high-stake derivative games. So many people are still out of work with no hope of finding it. With 77% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, one disaster away from oblivion, one has to wonder how little it would really take to push it over the edge.

The current narrative is of a war. A culture war, political war and as the previously quoted man said:



You don't avoid such a war, you merely postpone it, to your own disadvantage.


Make no mistake, many of the people posting these hateful screeds believe they are in a war. They have been convinced the other side is their enemy. They don't view them as human anymore. Even among so called "enlightened" people on this board the narrative appears. It's easier to blame others than understand the current system is stacked against the common man. It's easier to blame other than accept ideas and beliefs you once held sacred may not be useful anymore. How can you respect someone when you can't even view them as human?
edit on 23-12-2013 by antonia because: added a thought

edit on 23-12-2013 by antonia because: opps

edit on 23-12-2013 by antonia because: opps, wrong letter




posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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I think the majority of posters on ATS are from English speaking countries, and there are some pretty divisive things happening in the largest of them, America. ATS is reflecting that, even so when it came to a political vote of a choice for a leader in 2012, it wasn't even close on ATS, the ATS membership overwhelmingly picked Ron Paul; pre-primary. LINK Now if that happened it really puzzles me as to how from that point, such a political divide could emerge from amongst the membership here.

It seems TPTB are masters of whipping up division among even those that are informed, and that is sad.
edit on 23-12-2013 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Very well put!

All I can say is, how will you ever get someone to see your point of view if they despise you? You always dislike something your enemy likes.

Anger and hatred in debates is illogical and destructive to your view points, don't give in to anger, shouting your argument the loudest doesn't make it the right argument. It just makes you look like an angry turd.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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iRoyalty
All I can say is, how will you ever get someone to see your point of view if they despise you? You always dislike something your enemy likes.


I think that's the point. Why is it in today's world that an opposing point of view makes one an "enemy"?


Anger and hatred in debates is illogical and destructive to your view points, don't give in to anger, shouting your argument the loudest doesn't make it the right argument. It just makes you look like an angry turd.


Exactly. Check out the Debate Forum. That's how it's done.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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So.... we can still throw eggs at obama for the next week, right?

Ok, I'm down!

HA!

On a personal note and regarding your noted subject of divisiveness, I make a conscious effort to walk the middle road in life. I'm not led by science or religion, I'm led by both. I'm not conservative, I'm not liberal, I'm both. I don't have all the answers, I don't know it all, and I sure as hell don't act like it. I keep an open mind to the world, with my neighbors, to solutions, to conspiracies, to origins. I trust and like to be trusted. I'm honest and expect others to be. Yes, I have expectations but I am realistic. I'm a happy person. I love to laugh, have my emotions moved and share my experiences with others. I respect the world and people and try my best to protect both. I care, a lot.

The first step is to care.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:27 AM
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intrepid

I think that's the point. Why is it in today's world that an opposing point of view makes one an "enemy"?



Ha! No what I mean is having personal digs at someone for having a different point of view makes them an enemy


edit: also, I did not know we had debating competitions on ATS... how did I miss this?!
edit on 23-12-2013 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:31 AM
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reply to post by iRoyalty
 


IDK man, seems like a pretty apt description of today's tone. Different opinion = enemy.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:33 AM
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its because everything is a conspiracy or some bogus story now. we need to go back to the roots



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Yes that is very true, I don't particularly support right wing or left wing politics, but I've been pushing for a more left wing ideology (I wont go into it, massively off-topic), anyway, anyone who is a republican or conservative or anyone further right than the Labour party think I am the scourge of the earth, really bums me out tbh



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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Wookiep
Why are you sad Skeptic? Is it because not everyone believes how you do, or is it because the people who believe like you do would like to see a world where everyone shares the same beliefs? I'm sad too.

A vanilla society of like-minded people is a horrible thing to consider. I certainly don't want that.

But I would like a world where, picking a contemporary example, the following happens with ease:

A popular figure says something terrible he believes about homosexual people. The result is:
1) The religious right realizes the statement could be offensive, and opens a conversation about it
2) The liberal left realizes he believes that, and opens a conversation about it

It's about deference to one another, that's all. It's simple.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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I came here because after lurking for a time this appeared to be one of the last sane places left where a person could express opinions to people who have different views and actually have a conversation without devolving completely into playground cootie fights.

I recognize that quite a few people here differ from me for various reasons and in various places, but not on every issue and all the time. There are places where my opponent in one arena is my ally in another. That's why it's so important to talk to one another.

That's why intelligent and free discussion is so important, and why they work so hard to destroy it.

However, I can respect the of "Peace on Earth." I'll be too busy this week to contribute much anyhow, and I seem to have gotten a case of strep which will put me even further down.

So long as everyone here will accept a hearty "Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth" in the spirit of the season (no assumptions here that you're all Christian, I know better), and I'll gladly accept a "Merry Yule" in return.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


Indeed, it's a very dangerous environment to live in.

Norway Attacks

Perhaps what I am alluding to seems extreme, but it is only the natural progression of this trend.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I am sad for the opposite reason, hah! (Sorta)

The last thread I have been working on is a "ghost thread". Tumbleweed-town.
I still am going to work on it too, strangely enough, despite it's translucent qualities.

I noticed there were no arguments or complaints really so far.
Posted four pages of information and only had like 2 other posters drop in for a split second to say "hey this looks cool!" (paraphrase) which is awesome and I appreciate their bump.

But seriously you would think with the information I am bringing, and the style I am presenting it, it should have caused someone to gripe me out (in the last few months at least).

Then again, I am reminded that it's a meaningful and positive development.
If I cannot get people to debate that stuff on ATS, it's doubtful I will find a debate anywhere else either.
Which is really awesome, but very lonely.

Oh and about the comments from posters later in this thread, of it being a "war", well there has always been a "war of ideas" ever since humans could communicate those ideas. The war itself rages on, but what really matters is "Honor".

There are honorable warriors and dishonored ones.
Life itself is a battle till the end, so everyone must decide what type of warrior they strive to be.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:42 AM
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In the spirit of the Season....

I would like to apologize to anyone I have offended.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by iRoyalty
 


It goes beyond politics imo. You can take any issue and I believe you'll find this approach prevalent. Like that Star Trek episode:



Their hatred is based on the different sides of their color. I know this was a metaphor for racial issues of the 60's but I think it points out that, today, we are allowing ourselves to hate on issues(some non-issues) that we all NEED solutions to but our actions are only producing animosity.


edit on 23-12-2013 by intrepid because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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SkepticOverlord

Wookiep
Why are you sad Skeptic? Is it because not everyone believes how you do, or is it because the people who believe like you do would like to see a world where everyone shares the same beliefs? I'm sad too.

A vanilla society of like-minded people is a horrible thing to consider. I certainly don't want that.

But I would like a world where, picking a contemporary example, the following happens with ease:

A popular figure says something terrible he believes about homosexual people. The result is:
1) The religious right realizes the statement could be offensive, and opens a conversation about it
2) The liberal left realizes he believes that, and opens a conversation about it

It's about deference to one another, that's all. It's simple.



You want something a little like this blog from House of Eratosthenes.



The gayness becomes something we have to talk about, once again, because it rubs up against other things that are more important to us. I would not call those other things “freedom of speech”; the A&E network is under no obligation to preserve, or provide, Mr. Robertson’s rights according to the First Amendment, which when all’s said & done is merely protection from the government, and from nobody else. Without commenting on what may or may not be in the contract between Phil Robertson and A&E, I would say his First Amendment rights have emerged from this unscathed and unmolested, and I wish people would stop describing it that way.

That, however, has to do with the letter of the free speech protection. The spirit of it, however, has certainly been disturbed. After all, if you choose to defend A&E’s decision, whatever argument you use to provide that defense is going to culminate in a continuing obligation to keep on censoring. So there is an issue here, it just doesn’t involve the actual amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It involves the spirit of America. We are a place where the solution to such problems is more speech, and not less speech. That is what has made us unique, and it has been good for us.


In other words, our tradition as Americans has been to speak about the things that bother us and cause us problems as a culture, but today these things are immediately attacked and shut down by one side or the other as offensive and things you dare not speak about. The result is a festering resentment that simmers. People can no longer simply agree to disagree. And yes, such discussions can and do sometimes look messy and boisterous, but they clear the air and bleed off the emotions before they build up into dangerous things. Don't you remember being told over and over not to bottle up your feelings? But now, society is consciously attempting to force us to bottle them up in the name of social conformity.



We’ve seen this with black and we’ve seen it with the women: The rank-and-file members of the supposedly oppressed minority who really are just going about their lives and trying to get along, at some point, are left behind by the advocacy organizations who purport to represent them. The “real” people have an incentive to try to minimize conflict with others, whereas the advocacy groups have an incentive to stir it up, aggravate it, keep it going. America’s unique curse lately is that our culture is no longer controlled or guided by the people who actually have to live in it. Once again, we see that the people who have to live with other people, are ready to do so. We’re ready to look past the differences, to minimize them, to work together on other things. But the advocacy groups won’t allow us to.


And here it is all going back to the point - we're being divided and kept stirred up where most of us would rather just get on with it and live our lives. We have to live in what they create.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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antonia
Make no mistake, many of the people posting these hateful screeds believe they are in a war. They have been convinced the other side is their enemy. They don't view them as human anymore. Even among so called "enlightened" people on this board the narrative appears. It's easier to blame others than understand the current system to stacked against the common man. It's easier to blame other than accept ideas and beliefs you once held sacred may not be useful anymore. How can you respect someone when you can't even view them as human?


Indeed. That's the problem with narratives. They need antagonists. Someone has to fill in that role. Viewing your opponents as a conceptual metaphor is a sure-fire way to dehumanization. You're basically turning them into caricatures, not unlike LOTR orcs.

Guys, just because someone holds an opinion doesn't make him "represent" or "stand for" that opinion. We are human beings, not goddamn wickermen...



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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Oh my. How awkward.

Sometimes I create threads to foster debate. Other times I whack a hornets nest. But it's to get a subject talked about. There are times where I really think an issue is important, but the core is being lost in the rhetoric.

I know I can be a polarizing figure at times.

Perhaps. . . . just perhaps. . . I'll look for smaller hornets nest to whack.

Merry Christmas everyone.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:57 AM
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"We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter."
-Denis Diderot



This above sums up the atmosphere here. People just want speculation so that there is wiggle room for their own convoluted fantasies to exist. Contention is what allows us to lay bare the facts for examination. When everyone here gets along I will begin to worry because people will no longer be in search of the truth but in search of comfort.


"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair."
-C.S. Lewis


This is not to say that civility should not be stressed when interacting but civility cannot be judge based on the sensitivity of ones ears ( eyes ) or based on ones view of an issue. Civility is maintained by sticking to the topics and avoiding ad hominem attacks.

The above is aimed at ATS in general. To SkepticOverlord I would say this is your site and you can run it as you wish but I would not let it cause despair. This is just a mirror of the problems and people that exist in this world. I learn a lot in some of the nastier threads when it comes to human nature and societies. Even the recent DD thread was interesting because you can stand back and literally observe propaganda from both sides being repeated. I noticed as the day wore on and more news outlets offered opinions on the matter people began to mimic the same stuff the talking heads were spewing. It was all quite fascinating to me and should be to anyone who can separate themselves from this mess.

I was also able to observe the views of members who like many people are just caught in a crossfire. People who for example have gay children and have had to accept something they formerly disagreed with. Only in those types of threads do those issues come out for us to reflect on. Silver linings all over when we look for them.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 10:57 AM
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whyamIhere
In the spirit of the Season....

I would like to apologize to anyone I have offended.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.



my sentiments exactly...I too apologize to my fine ATS members for whom I might have offended...Merry Christmas and have a glorious new year...we all need happiness in our lives, and there is no better time for that to emerge than now. enjoy your time with family and your close friends, because your brief time on this earth, is never enough to appreciate the ones that are close.



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