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Why the 'Soapbox' mentality as of late here on ATS?

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posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:11 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I seem to notice here lately that no one is the least bit interested in civil debate or the exchange or different ideas. Instead they seem only interested in climbing atop of their soapbox and preaching to the crowd. I have noticed a drastic increase in the amount of Ad Hominems and Strawmen, while seeing fewer and fewer unbiased source links.


I have also noticed an increase in 'flame' threads, while other threads that would require thought and would lead to an actual discussion just die a quick death. Too often I scan the 'recent posts' page, only to find myself comparing it to the TV guide during rerun season... Lots to choose from, but nothing good on... Instead we have tripe like 'Obama signs Martial Law Executive Order', when if you actually read the Order you would see that that is an extreme reach, but makes for a GREAT flame against the Dems thread!!! Or the 'Do you honestly not think this is a nude image?' thread, which kept going for pages and pages even after is was shown to me a HOAX!!! Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against passionate debate, but I haven't seen much of that around here lately... Just alot of name calling and postering.

Now I must confess that I have found myself getting sucked down to that level as of late. It is not something that I am proud of, and I will greatly endevour to keep my emotions in check in the future.

So, if you see me out there in other threads, be prepared to get called out if you are just 'soapboxing', because I LOVE this site, and I'll be damned if the knuckleheads are gonna take it over!

It is impossible to Deny Ignorance with a Closed Mind...

[edit on 12-1-2010 by JaxonRoberts]

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:24 PM

It is impossible to Deny Ignorance with a Closed Mind...

There is the crux of the irony/problem, we have a site that should attract open-minds but instead we find more closed then open.

Excellent points in your OP and a great sig to match.

[edit on 12-1-2010 by The Blind Eye]

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:27 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

Great thread. Well put. Good reminder. Love the visual.

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:29 PM
Maybe I should stop pointing new members to this Thread-

Sorry, point well taken!

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:30 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

haha, I like that drawing.

I have noticed this too, .... lately there are so many threads simply stating their own opinion, ... such as :

" Why I hate Obama"
" Why I think this, Why I think that "

and they never have any evidence for anything, it seems as though they simply want to start an argument.

I don't want to be a troll, but sometimes I want to click on all of these threads just to say " Who gives a Freak what you think "

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:31 PM
I agree. Although, most of my threads are things that do not really need proof, more of open discussion, it seems people that disagree do go a little far.

Personally, i can't tell disinfo if i see it. mainly because everything i learned about the corrupt part of the world happend so recently, its hard to slow down and really picture whats going on in a conspiracy sense.

So i basically came to the conclusion that, if it needs verifacation, it probably dosn't matter. Then what am i still doing here is my question.

I believe it was some ATS members that put me in that state of mind. really not knowing whats real, and the proof people provided before was so strong and firm, now its turned into clay, where people can mold it as they wish with their oppinion.

I must say though, when going to other websites on the same topic, they seem like childs play in comparison. ATS is very well presented and usually has something that will catch the eye everyday on the homepage.

So my two cents is that ATS has to become a community again. Connected, not every straying away from each other due to their personal beliefs on things. This should allow us to show more respect for each other, and allow for a second thought on posting offensive material.

posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:38 PM

Good observation...

To deny ignorance or to ignore deniance, that is the question

Star and flag for the thread.


posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 11:58 PM
reply to post by Signals

LOL...ah yes the brilliant rant/satire of "How to make a Killer Thread on ATS".

Seriously... a great reference in kin to the "soapbox" that JR is referring to.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 12:08 AM
reply to post by The Blind Eye

I just wish that I had put the title in all caps so I could have gotten that all important 'Mod Edit', thus giving the thread the needed credibility...

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 12:39 AM
reply to post by The Blind Eye

Open-mindedness isn't what most people here think. Open-mindedness merely means that you are open to the consideration of new ideas, but it does not follow that a co-requirement be apathetic, agnostic, accepting, or even respectful. That respectful component would be nice, of course, but utterly lost in these climates I fear. ATS, being what it is, is a mecca for a colorful tapestry of isolated misanthropes, paranoid schizophrenics, narcissistic new-agers, anti-social sycophants, and other such lively faces shining and glimmering here and there like diamonds amid a tumultuous sea of people coming together for a laugh, a discussion, or a bit of magic. Occasionally a few of these shining stars will align by outside forces or semi-coordinated happenstance to create a movement or atmosphere that can dominate a topic of threads or an entire forum. One in which debate, reason, or rationality have are ... at a disadvantage to the current environment. Like evolution, ideas also replicate and compete. An environment of intolerance or fundamentalism can forego actual discussion in favor of tidal waves of arrogance, accusation, and egotism.

Not to say that I haven't been guilty of the above listed characteristics myself, though generally I try to keep it refrained to those times when I put the effort into detailing a full post or two, with links to credible research, videos of detailed explanations, as well as viable real-world treatments or technologies developed by those basic principals. Only to have that information ignored in a flurry of feel-good, though half baked cheesecake. So yes, I will occasionally submerge into the septic of soapbox speculation and semantic splitting proselytization. When in Rome, eh?

Having an open mind does not guarantee that a pet hypothesis you take pride in won't be savagely eviscerated just after birth. Nor does it mean those who have rejected it are not open minded. You have to consider something, after all, to argue against it (barring logical fallacy employ). It just means that it was considered, and found wanting. But perhaps the mistake is of those trying to discuss and debate an issue... for not realizing that ATS is largely not a place to debate or seek an answer to anything. It's a place where people can vent their views and ideas without (ideally) being laughed at and chided for their errors. That's all well and good, but the pretext of wanting a discussion in the search for the truth is misleading when one is really only interested in discussion for the sake of gaining approval and the confirmation of validity by others.

As for the thread OP in regards to debate standards having dropped significantly, I'd have to disagree a bit. In my experience, at least.. from the threads and forums I visit... the standards have never been particularly high in my time. I signed up about a month before you did, and even when back then during the first posts - the sign out front was being painted with the familiar line; "Abandon all hope". Apparently, most of the old members had left... the fringes were (as always) marginalized... and a "new breed" of ATS god fearing warriors had invaded with the intent to conquer.

And not long after the previous invasion, ATS was caught in the whirlwind political of pressure fronts as the old Liberal majority transitioned into a more bellicose response to the call from the Conservative view - now that they were odd man out. The collision of the two at the meeting points reminded me of chaotic and angry twisters bearing down on an unsuspecting trailer park.

So in regards to the OPs picture... I don't tend to see the downward trend in debate standards as being much change at all. That's just the way it's always been. Although I would be remiss if I didn't recognize a very strong sense of social entropy occurring as well.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by Lasheic

What can i say, but well said. I have very little to add, except that there has been a noticeable change since many prolific thought-provocative posters were banned over the course of last year, for what appeared to be minor infractions. I think some trigger-happy mods went a bit too far in their attempt to sanitize ATS for a "family friendly" demographic.

[edit on 13-1-2010 by The Blind Eye]

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by The Blind Eye

I noticed this also... Quite a lot of banning seemed to transpire during my hiatus in the fall while I was moving. I'm not sure that all of it was necessarily a good thing, but I'm not a mod....

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 02:50 PM
been here a while now, and i post considerably less then i use to because of what the op posted. when you start dropping resources, and offering a decent debate, the people arguing with you dont do the same, they just argue more like a scared child backed into a corner. its stupid, and i just started posting less a long time ago, and researching more.

me: here are some resources about pk,and my argument for why it exist, but why it doesnt manifest for us on call.

random: yeah, okay, this isnt starwars.

me: ....... this is why i post less

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 03:27 PM
I hate to say it, but for real debate, I've pretty much left ATS.
I really like it here, and know some great folks. But there are days I really don't see the point of posting.

Now, this goes in and out, I've seen it shift from one extreme to another, but this is one of the more prevalent and steady trends.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 03:43 PM
I notice this thread seems to have a cordial and thoughtful discussion. That said I think the problem is that those seeking truth is increasing and flocking here but without realizing that they have simply traded their paradigm from one where the governments are basically corrupt but working for the people to one where the whole world is a conspiracy against us. They still get angry when the paradigm is questioned and resort to the same tactics with their new world view. I was, and still am at times, guilty of it.

But the more I step back and read through threads I see a lot of vitriol but always one or two posters providing evidence why the subject at hand is presented accurately or not and it is those few posts that help educate me and the reason I come back here.

If, for every one hundred posts that are simply angry diatribes of someone who can't see they have not really awoken to anything (simply traded worldviews) there are a few that will come along doing their best to deny ignorance and, in my oppinion, that is a whole lot better than what I would find on the news any day of the week.


posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 03:47 PM
I have to agree with you. There are at times complete denial of facts, I've come to expect this in the more religous oriented threads but other threads are about making a claim, planting your flag and then defending said flag till your denial is so deep that you boarding a flight to Egypt. Some threads are so "out there" that I seriously wonder about the mental stability of the poster and those with the same view.

Today a thread started about a certain optical illusion, I had seen it the other day but upon study saw what was going on but today said thread is full of people saying agency -X- is hiding the truth again! I just have to shake my head and hope these people never get into a position of power. Their wishful thinking has totally clouded their worldview.

As noted above ATS is supposed to be attracting the open minded, instead it seems to be equally attractive to those with a close minded axe to grind, or reality to deny.

[edit on 13-1-2010 by Helmkat]

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 04:00 PM
I have been coming here for nearly nine years, and let me assure you the site has been transformed into something barely recognisable from what it used to be.

Once upon a time you could come here and engage in an intelligent manner. Not so any more. You'll notice that very few members have been here for more than two to three years.

The reason for that is they have all left, for the exact reason as stated in the OP.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 05:44 PM
I think its got to do with the emotional attachment alot of people have to their ideas, they take their own opinions as the 'truth' without room for any other possibilities and if you question them they take it as a personal attack.

Not everyone but a vast majority have their opinions and ideas set in stone and are way too inflexible to have an actual sharing of ideas.

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:17 PM
reply to post by sicklecell

It is refered to as schema and it's always been part of the ATS experience. But lately it seems that it's all that you run into around here. I actually had a member ask me 'Why are you here?' on a thread, just because I was the con position to her pro... Apparently she was in search of bobble heads, not actual discussion on the topic at hand...

posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 09:15 PM
Oh, and I just wish to mention that the image in the OP (only slightly altered) was provided by the legendary schrodingers dog, without whose dog-like wisdom ATS would be a much emptier place...

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