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cyclops

Be on my way

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When I joined the forum in 2002, it seemed there were many more members than there are now.   And the fights...incredible, weeks-long, bare-knuckle brawls.    Even if they crossed the line (and often did), I still learned a great deal from all of the participants, even the ones I disagreed with.   Some folks left, but many more stayed.

I have found many of the I&P debates helpful. Yes, when discussing strongly help beliefs, things can get heated. But we should all try to stay civil, and apologize when we slip up. As @@Stosh and others said, you can disagree without attacking the other.

 

I find that being required to defend my positions helps me to understand my own opinions better, and sometimes it leads to me changing them (yes, a good argument can influence me). I also like hearing the arguments from "the other side" as it helps inform my own opinion, and they often present ideas I hadn't considered.

 

Now?   One comment, one spat, and that's it.   Someone leaves the forum for good, the thread is moved to IP, folks shake their head at the barbarity of it all.   (I'm not talking about clear fouls, like religion or family.)

Some people deal with "conflict" better than others, or in different ways. It sad when we loose a voice, but sometimes for them it's the right thing.

 

Be it in scouter.com, or in society at large, or at the national level, we have collectively lost the willingness to engage in debate.   If someone says something that hurts our feelings, or we disagree with, the trend is to call a foul.      Two members engage in a toe-to-toe argument.   Some see it as debate, others as a calamity.  Can we tell the difference in 2016?

I agree that our ability as a society to engage in meaningful debate is going away. Just look at politics. It started in college campuses with the idea that instead of engaging with ideas you don't like (i.e. give counter arguments), you simply shouted them down. Then came the idea that the people on the "other side" didn't just disagree, but are somehow illegitimate (immoral, traitorous, stupid, etc.). That lead to the idea that talking with and listening too the "other side" is itself a betrayal. And we wonder why people don't know how to disagree?

 

I know too many people that simply assume that the people on the "other side" of important issues are either morally bankrupt or stupid. They cannot conceive how any reasonable person "could think that way". And they have zero interest in finding out. I am blessed with several friends on the "other side" politically who are good, decent, articulate, people, that are willing to debate with me. It helps me understand how good and decent people can disagree on important issues. And to understand how much we still have in common (we all agree about Trump :) ).

 

There are a few people that post on this forum that have made posts that I feel strongly cross the line. Posts that make me cringe and think "what an a***h***!" But then I see other posts by the same person that make think "wow, they really care about the boys and scouting, and are really trying to make a positive difference. I'd love to buy them a beer!"

 

We shouldn't excuse crossing the line, but don't judge people by one post either.

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Be it in scouter.com, or in society at large, or at the national level, we have collectively lost the willingness to engage in debate.   If someone says something that hurts our feelings, or we disagree with, the trend is to call a foul.      Two members engage in a toe-to-toe argument.   Some see it as debate, others as a calamity.  Can we tell the difference in 2016?

See this spreading across college campuses right now. The inability to talk about issues constructively. 

 

But as for our Forum and I&P does having that forum add something to this website? Does it help our community here or does it hurt more than it helps? 

 

I certainly don't have the answer. 

 

 

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See this spreading across college campuses right now. The inability to talk about issues constructively. 

 

But as for our Forum and I&P does having that forum add something to this website? Does it help our community here or does it hurt more than it helps? 

 

I certainly don't have the answer. 

 

 

Sentinel, I think it's helpful to have an IP or something similar.   It gives folks a place to have a spirited debate, and for those that dislike that sort of thing, they don't have to be exposed to it.

 

It's a lot like a troop campout.  Overall it may look like a Norman Rockwell painting, but there are problems, conflict, poor decisions, etc., that arise and must be resolved.  That's life.   I think we can handle it.   Take a look at some of the threads circa 2003 - 2005.   Long threads, constant point/counterpoint.  But it seemed more and more people joined the forum.

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I don't think removing I&P will help, it will just overflow elsewhere. Isn't that the reason why I&P was formed? Trying to remove dissent or arguments will gut this forum.

 

There's a good way to argue and a bad way to argue. The good way is when everyone is trying to come to an agreement, even if it is to disagree. Lurking scouts should see that. I'm all for it. Bad arguments are when it becomes a zero sum game. If there were a way for the moderators to help with that I'd say absolutely. I'm just not sure what that might be.

 

What seems to work really well is when someone realizes they crossed a line and apologize. Personal messages could also help. Even if it's a moderator pm-ing someone and saying they won't remove a comment but man, it sure was rude, an apology might be a good idea.

 

But at the end of the day, I have enough conflict in the rest of my life. I don't need want to see bad arguments here. What I really want is is that scout-crack feeling when some boy walks up and says thank you. I'm here to learn better ways to get that. Yeah, I'm greedy. I suppose I could help people here but there really aren't that many people here, especially those that would like some help.

 

Why drink beer and get in a fight? Why talk about scouts and get angry?

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I don't think removing I&P will help, it will just overflow elsewhere. Isn't that the reason why I&P was formed? Trying to remove dissent or arguments will gut this forum.

 

There's a good way to argue and a bad way to argue. The good way is when everyone is trying to come to an agreement, even if it is to disagree. Lurking scouts should see that. I'm all for it. Bad arguments are when it becomes a zero sum game. If there were a way for the moderators to help with that I'd say absolutely. I'm just not sure what that might be.

 

What seems to work really well is when someone realizes they crossed a line and apologize. Personal messages could also help. Even if it's a moderator pm-ing someone and saying they won't remove a comment but man, it sure was rude, an apology might be a good idea.

 

But at the end of the day, I have enough conflict in the rest of my life. I don't need want to see bad arguments here. What I really want is is that scout-crack feeling when some boy walks up and says thank you. I'm here to learn better ways to get that. Yeah, I'm greedy. I suppose I could help people here but there really aren't that many people here, especially those that would like some help.

 

Why drink beer and get in a fight? Why talk about scouts and get angry?

 

>>coming out of hibernation...

There's a limit to how much time moderators have to 'police' the 'behavior' of forums...remember...they also don't get paid and they have 'lives' outside of this as well as careers. In the ideal world, a forum like scouter.com (if it doesn't work for scouters it probably can't work anywhere) should be self-moderating with the 'moderators' providing occasional nudges now and then. I read the series in this case and while I also disagree with his decision, I understand cyclops's feelings. Sorry to see him go.

back to hibernation<<<

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I disagree. You can set a no tolerance policy for I&P type posts/topics and simply remove them. I wouldn't expect the mods to police the posts as they happen, but they could remove the posts or threads after the fact. 

 

I'd be okay with that. In our unit we don't talk politics or religion. It avoids many needless arguments.

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Hmmmm  @@Krampus  how does one get through  the Pledge, the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, Citizenship MB's, Scout Spirit requirements for advancement, etc. without talking about politics or religion?  Politics and religion are a integral and vital part of Scouting!  Can't just sweep it under the rug to avoid "needless arguments".  :)

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How do I say this without being considered unscoutlike?  I'm not sure I can but I'll try.

 

I read that thread again.  I tried to put myself in to Cyclops shoes over the wording he found offensive - a six word post:  "Man creating God in his own image".  Cyclops apparently took that as an insult to his religion.  I suppose on one level, I can see how one could take it that way.  Eagledad simply agreed with it, and Cyclops asked a question about whether Eagledad agreed with the notion that is is unscoutlike to denigrate another's religion then got upset that it wasn't answered with a simple "yes or no".  If it was a simple question out-of-the-blue in apropos of anything, I think I would answer yes - but given the context that it was asked, it seems I would also have to agree that "Man creating God in his own image" is also offensive - I doubt that I would have answered yes or no either.  Though I can understand why Cyclops might be upset, My response would run less to being insulted and more to "Well of course Man creates God in his own image - almost every religion (certain shamanistic religions and Hinduism excepted) creates God in Man's image". 

 

It is a shame that Cyclops has decided just to leave - but plenty of folks have done so before - and people will continue to do so - whether we have an I&P forum or not.  I don't support removing the I&P forum from here - it's a good forum for folks to discuss issues that Scouting faces from outside the program.  There are times on that forum where there are blatant and obvious personal attacks - those should certainly be moderated - but in this case, is it really a blatant personal attack or just the perception of an attack by the offended party?  Perhaps there is also a generational issue going on as well - Emory University has been in the news recently because some of their students got offended because some other presumed students wrote Trump 16 in chalk on sidewalks and the University Administration bent over backwards to offer counseling and otherwise sooth the feelings of the precious little snowflakes (oh well, so much for being Scoutlike).

 

Are there times when it can get out of control in I&P?  Sure - but it's usually pretty easy to tell when that happens - the threads end up being a back-and-forth thread war between two people.  Is that enough to take it out of this forum?  I don't believe so - and I think of it this way - there are people out there demanding that networks stop showing television shows because they find them offensive - and fine, be offended - but their being offended doesn't mean that I, who may not be offended by that show, should be forced to capitulate to their demands - the simple answer is "Then just change the channel" (or just don't read that book, don't listen to that music, etc.).  Now granted, this forum is private so there are not real first amendment rights here - but censorship anywhere weakens us all.  I think the moderators have already done a lot by no longer letting I&P posts be highlighted on the forum home screen.  If threads show up differently for you because of the way you've put together your settings, well that's your responsibility to pay more attention before clicking through.

 

In what may be the ultimate irony of this whole discussion, and perhaps in this whole forum, is that folks have been calling for a the creation of a new forum just for religious discussion for years - and if we had that religious forum, the "offending" thread would most likely have been in that forum and not in I&P.  Here we are now, discussing removing I&P for a thread that likely would not have been in the I&P forum had we a religious discussion forum.  If we had that forum, would we now be discussing eliminating that one?

 

I'm sorry to see Cyclops leave - I regret that I now think of him as being a tad bit over-sensitive - but I hope that we don't start changing this forum because "some people" may get offended.

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Hmmmm  @@Krampus  how does one get through  the Pledge, the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, Citizenship MB's, Scout Spirit requirements for advancement, etc. without talking about politics or religion?  Politics and religion are a integral and vital part of Scouting!  Can't just sweep it under the rug to avoid "needless arguments".  :)

 

Pledge= No need to discuss politics or religion. 

Oath/Law= Nothing political about those.

Cit in XXX= You can discuss BOTH sides of politics in an analytical fashion without bringing feelings in to it.

Spirit= What is even remotely political about this?

 

Talk about election process? Sure! Talk about how healthcare reform has been a disaster and ended up costing people MORE? Likely will start arguments.

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To a certain extent, wearing one's emotions close to the surface on issues that are near and dear to a person is a good thing.  But when doing so, it makes one's responsibility even greater in how they have learned to cope with it.  If every time someone "insulted" my religion, I hauled off and hit them, or walked away, or shot them, or dumped a scathing Tweet on the internet or called the police and had them arrested for hate speech, will all garner different judgments from people observing the interaction.  On the one hand, "He must not have felt it important because he just walked away" on the one end of the scale to "I don't think he needed to shoot him." on the other.  Somewhere in between these two extremes we all seem to find our place.

 

In Cyclops' situation I think he had had enough and threw the towel in.  Not what I would have done, but I respect his decision.  There are other fish to fry in his life than being part of a scouting forum that aggravates his sensitivities.  It is unfortunate he'll miss out on other topics that he might benefit from. 

 

If there are others out there that tend to feel the same way, I would suggest putting those that have differing view that cause an unpleasant reaction on your part, to put them on the ignore list so that one can still enjoy and learn from those on the forum who cover other topics.  I just hate to see people miss out on 100 good things because of one or two bad things that come along on the forum.  This goes for lurkers too!  Don't throw out the whole bushel because of a couple of bad apples.

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Pledge= No need to discuss politics or religion. 

Oath/Law= Nothing political about those.

Cit in XXX= You can discuss BOTH sides of politics in an analytical fashion without bringing feelings in to it.

Spirit= What is even remotely political about this?

 

Talk about election process? Sure! Talk about how healthcare reform has been a disaster and ended up costing people MORE? Likely will start arguments.

 

You know I'm just pulling your chain a bit, but one must realize that if we are making a pledge to a nation that is viewed as "under God" it has a religious implication as do the words of the words of the Oath "duty to God AND Country" (hits both religion and politics)  and the different dynamics of the Law such as Loyal, Obedient, Reverent all have political/religious overtones that could certainly be part of a discussion among the boys.

 

"Who are ya gonna vote for?" is a bit inflammatory and needs to be dealt with far differently than "You're gonna vote when the time comes, aren't you?"  Both on the same topic, but one is very appropriate for a scout conversation and the other could be better left  at home.

 

When I was growing up it was considered inappropriate in polite society (back in the day when that still existed) to not talk about religion, politics, or women.  :)   Oh how times have changed! 

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More rules, restrictions, boundaries = less participation.  Less members.   Less sharing. 

 

Over the years, I've read many things here that I completely disagreed with.   And they were not always stated in a scout-like manner.  

 

But you know what?   Just because someone posts something that runs contrary to my beliefs/values, they have the right to say it.   Even if they say it in an unscout-like manner, heck, they said it and that's that.   Am I going to be a hot-house flower and wilt?  I'd like to think I'm made of strong stuff than that.

 

In the past, I've crossed the line myself, and the other party took the higher road and simply turned the page.   Thankfully.

 

I'm not worried about scouts tuning in and reading the debates.  Including the rowdy debates.   Three reasons:   a) even if they seek to avoid it, they are exposed to a tsunami of crap every day via social media.   A scout perusing a scouter.com dust-up about Eagle Scout projects or religion is not a big deal.  b)  Scouts are more intelligent than we give them credit for.   c)  How many scouts really read this forum?   A forum like this is, uh, like, for old people :)

 

I too am sorry to see folks leave.   And, though they may have been quite contentious, I'm sorry that some of the banned folks are no longer here.   They may have stated things that got my goat, but they sure made me think.   And sometimes, I learned something from them too.

Edited by desertrat77

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You know I'm just pulling your chain a bit...

I know.

 

To be honest, this whole discussion reminds me of an episode of South Park. Basically, it was how life would be like if we removed religion to argue about...eventually we (humans) would find some other thing to take sides on and argue about. ;)

 

Or said another way according to the Big Bang Theory...

 

 

Edited by Krampus

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So then, how does one do a "snort of derision" on the forum?

I think we need more emoticons. I'm still waiting for my rim-shot emoticon. <badap-boom> just doesn't cut it.

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