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Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Old 04-12-13, 11:12 AM
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Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

With the closing of the same-sex marriage thread, the stated reason being it outlived its "usefulness", I was curious about a few things. Are we no longer allowed to discuss and debate religion in the politics and world issues forum? If it was closed because it strayed too far from the original topic, couldn't it have been split into another thread rather than closing it?

Despite the fact that there was a lot of back and forth that seemed to be covering much of the same ground, there were some very interesting lines of debate and discussion in that thread. I don't get why it was deemed no longer "useful" when it seemed to be one of the most active threads in the forum. Obviously the users posting in it disagree that it was not useful any more.

Anyways, if I started a thread with the original topic being more in line with what we were discussing, would that be kosher? Or are any types of debate about this topic deemed not useful?

I apologize if this is not the right place to bring this up, as I have never felt moved to complain about anything around here before. This decision just irked me for some reason...
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Old 04-12-13, 11:51 AM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

I think all religious and politics have outlived its "usefulness"

Just be glad a mod hasn't decided you've outlived your "usefulness" and banned you.
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Old 04-12-13, 12:17 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

As long as Christian White Males continue to be the most oppressed group in the history of the United States, I think they need to be able to stand up for their rights on this board.
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Old 04-12-13, 01:09 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

I think in this case the last page was mostly Vibiana, dvdjunkie, and others just blatantly insulting each other which is why it got locked.
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Old 04-12-13, 01:13 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Good thing our mods were born with the gift of mercy.
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Old 04-12-13, 01:32 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
With the closing of the same-sex marriage thread, the stated reason being it outlived its "usefulness", I was curious about a few things. Are we no longer allowed to discuss and debate religion in the politics and world issues forum? If it was closed because it strayed too far from the original topic, couldn't it have been split into another thread rather than closing it?

Despite the fact that there was a lot of back and forth that seemed to be covering much of the same ground, there were some very interesting lines of debate and discussion in that thread. I don't get why it was deemed no longer "useful" when it seemed to be one of the most active threads in the forum. Obviously the users posting in it disagree that it was not useful any more.

Anyways, if I started a thread with the original topic being more in line with what we were discussing, would that be kosher? Or are any types of debate about this topic deemed not useful?

I apologize if this is not the right place to bring this up, as I have never felt moved to complain about anything around here before. This decision just irked me for some reason...
To be clear, I closed the thread not because of the topic(s) discussed - we've always had free and open debate about religious issues, especially in the context of policy, in the politics forum. I closed the thread because it was no longer really about policy, or even about religion influencing policy, but rather, just a shouting match between two groups of people who had stopped talking about issues and had pretty much resorted to attacks, personal or otherwise. So, instead of taking action against individual posters, I decided to take 'action' against the thread. I probably should have made that clear when I closed the thread, but (a) I thought it was pretty obvious why, and (b) I has pretty busy at work and simply didn't have the time.

ETA: Someone has already started another thread on the same topic, and I certainly expect it to be a more civil and less personal arena for discourse.
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Old 04-12-13, 01:37 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I think in this case the last page was mostly Vibiana, dvdjunkie, and others just blatantly insulting each other which is why it got locked.
While that happened occasionally, shouldn't that just be dealt with. Or at least a warning? There were several people who were having an entertaining debate. I know that I still found the thread useful on a number of different levels, and it seemed to be pretty active at the time of its closure.

It's not that big of deal I suppose, it's not like there is a shortage of places on the internet where I can get my fix for these type of debates. I just was honestly curious what the deal was and thought the way in which it was closed was quite rude...oh well.
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Old 04-12-13, 02:42 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
To be clear, I closed the thread not because of the topic(s) discussed - we've always had free and open debate about religious issues, especially in the context of policy, in the politics forum. I closed the thread because it was no longer really about policy, or even about religion influencing policy, but rather, just a shouting match between two groups of people who had stopped talking about issues and had pretty much resorted to attacks, personal or otherwise. So, instead of taking action against individual posters, I decided to take 'action' against the thread. I probably should have made that clear when I closed the thread, but (a) I thought it was pretty obvious why, and (b) I has pretty busy at work and simply didn't have the time.

ETA: Someone has already started another thread on the same topic, and I certainly expect it to be a more civil and less personal arena for discourse.
Fair enough, thanks for the explanation. I was enjoying the discussion that Artman, Bob, and others were bringing to the table, but I suppose that line of discussion may have run its course...
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Old 04-12-13, 08:57 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
I was enjoying the discussion that Artman, Bob, and others were bringing to the table
As was I, but some people (on both sides) are incapable of being civil, so it's only a matter of time before things devolve.
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Old 04-15-13, 01:10 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

This is not a civil space to enter dialogue about religion. Wish it was, but it's not.

I'm a progressive Christian and political liberal who is also in seminary on the path to ordination. In my lurker+member years here, that's nearly fifteen years, I've simply not found this a place to mutually ask and mutually explore questions of faith. I have, on very rare occasion, entered the discussions in threads with topics on Scripture, faith, religion, interfaith, non-faith, social justice issues, and so on. So long as it remains civil, I remain in the conversation but if it doesn't, I disengage. I simply don't have the energy to be overwhelmed with uncivil, unhealthy dialogue. If a thread is mostly filled with persons who claim no faith tradition and persons who claim conservative faith tradition and both groups are fairly hard-lined about their starting points, then it's hard to rise to the occasion of offering a third voice into the dialogue.

Really, that's the reason I feel compelled to enter the fray (really, it's a "fray," not "dialogue." What goes on here regarding religion is closer to angry debate than level-headed discussion more often than not IMHO): to assert an additional voice where questions are welcomed (coming from a place of open skepticism is worlds different from a place of closed cynicism), doubts are expressed (faith includes doubt), faith is celebrated (because when it's there, it's meaningful and life-changing), and kingdom building is about helping bring justice to the oppressed now is a God-given responsibility as opposed to worrying about how to get to heaven later (God-centered "social justice" isn't a dirty word; it's the point). I think, not just for me but many like me, there is a hesitancy in knowing how to enter this fray because we'd prefer dialogue; the fear, instead, is we will either end up too wishy-washy or end up like "that" Christian. And neither way is going to help anybody, I think.

My favorite moments on DVDTalk are steeped in solidarity and community, helping each other and being their for each other. Suffering, whether in the lives of members or even the news stories we post about, is addressed with compassion before "hilarious" jokes. Genuine care trumps bargain hunting. Learning comes before judging. I suppose that even includes a dash of "tough love" when people hold each other accountable (it's happened to me a few times, whether I was ready to hear it or not... which is why they call it "tough love!"). My least favorite moments on DVDTalk are founded on cynicism, crafted with apathy, and punctuated with maliciousness. I wish I felt like the scales were tipped so the former far outweighs the latter, but I simply haven't experienced that - especially in conversations about atheism / faith.

It doesn't help that we're on the Internet and thus at a sensory disadvantage; we're reading typed words and hoping we understand the tone while missing out on the facial expressions, the body language, the history of that person beyond what they've chosen to offer us in other threads about Blu-ray deals and sports team devotion. Kinda reminds me of Joe Cabbot's reason for not letting the guys pick their own names in Reservoir Dogs: "No way, no way. Tried it once, it doesn't work. You get four guys all fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black. But they don't know each other, so nobody wants to back down."

I don't know what would make it be that sort of space. A lot of teamwork and accountability, both of self and each other, I would suppose. Until persons on all "sides" are open and willing to make this a mutual starting point, these threads will continue to degenerate.

I apologize for the long post. I've thought about this stuff a lot. Wanting change here in this regard is one thing. Understanding how to bring change is quite another. I'm not above it all. I've done my fair share of cynical posts and "hilarious" posts at the expense of others. But turning around and trying to contribute something better here has interested me a lot more, recently. Hopefully, that's how I've conducted myself, for the most part.
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Old 04-15-13, 02:04 PM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

There's a Religion SHEEP game coming soon, so that should be a blast...I wonder if it will get locked before we finish the questions.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:30 AM
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Re: Are religious/atheist discussions allowed?

Since Atheism is the human psyche's desire to attach religious dogma to non-belief, I approve this thread.
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