Simone Weil is Banned !!

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Not at all - but when someone is reduced to repeatedly denigrating the site and its members as unworthy of their attention, the poster needs to spend time away from the site.

If you invite people around for tea, and someone keeps pissing on your furniture, eventually you make sure they leave.

Well that is not the way I see it. Seems to me a lot of folk here have enjoyed some interesting and informative discussions with Nick. Given his style and sometimes controversial subject matter he has invited a pounding from most of us at some point too. Now that is healthy. There is no furniture here to piss on, not one word Nick ever writes damages anything material so using a material analogy as a wise crack may get a laugh, and it did, but it is none the less a deflection.
Nick is one of the members here that displays a single minded tenacity that sets him apart. The content he includes is often unusual, always well researched and delivered unapologetically in Nicks own inimitable style. We all know not one of us is going to change Nicks mind ones Nicks mind is made up and faced with that its easy to fall back at having a pop at him....and we do. Over time this is bound to stoke up resentment and defensiveness that you choose to interpret as dissing the site. I do not see it that way at all and my guess would be that few others do either. But its your baby and how dare anyone dare call it ugly!!
So yet again here we are discussing someones gagging. What has been achieved by it? I cannot see any benefit to this site in removing Nicks voice. His recent holiday from here maybe ended with a few pokes....but so what....they were unimportant until you drew attention to them by doing this. I dont particularly want to sit here defending Nick, after all much of what he says is to my mind indefensible, but seems to me this gagging business is just going too far too often.
Tao, a key problem I've seen with the site is that the tone has dropped markedly - over the past few months many discussions have been punctuated with personal attacks, and then when trying to turn this around, attacks have then turned on the site and site staff.

None of which is conducive to encouraging constructive discussion, either for existing members, or even for new members to join into.

Nick_A showed every interest in leaving the site, and made it clear he ill-regarded the place and its members. It may seem like nothing material is being damaged, but I see the fabric of the community being stretched and torn. Hence it's required of me to fix it.

It may not be the most popular process, but looking at the direction we'd be heading otherwise would be little different than an unmoderated community, and that is something I absolutely do not want to subscribe to, and something I think the majority of members would not stick around for.

Therefore do I seek to ensure a vocal minority are placated, and see the site go off a proverbial cliff - or do I make changes I think are need to make the site more comfortable for the majority?

I don't think I've ever vied for popularity, but I have tried to keep this site and community moving towards a generally positive direction.

I don't always make the right decisions, and I don't always carry off decisions in the right manner - and I freely admit that.

However, at the end of day, decisions do need to be made in terms of ensuring the whole project more or less moves in a progressive direction, and doesn't end up becoming a community where people who fear to post less they have to run a gauntlet of flame wars and other attacks.
Brian, you may be inclined to judge others by politically correct standards but I am not that way. Why say these things:

Nick_A showed every interest in leaving the site, and made it clear he ill-regarded the place and its members. It may seem like nothing material is being damaged, but I see the fabric of the community being stretched and torn. Hence it's required of me to fix it.

I don't talk about members anywhere to the extent they talk about me. The whole Birth Certificate thread contains condemnation of me with little thought of substance. The whole question of whether or not the constitution can be respected if it has become merely a tool for political agenda is avoided in favor of accusations of racism and whatever.

On the Obama Youth Brigade thread you insinuate some sort of Republican agenda on my part. It now seems odd to you that some people are interested in ideas on their own merit.

I contend that this has become natural for secular Interfaith where the image created demands favoritism towards it and condemnation of what doesn't support it. I further assert that it is you and others that also lose by it.

The whole God as a Pornographer thread was about our inability to understand human sexuality in the context of an objective human perspective. Without such understanding we cannot express anything meaningful to the young and as a result are forced to use the police in what should be a family matter. I've learned that secular Interfaith cannot discuss it. It cannot admit our deficiency; not discuss solutions beyond superficial clichés. It doesn't make me happy nor look down on people. It simply is the way it is when offense is supported in denial of mutual efforts towards understanding. This way feels good but nothing can be understood.

I've learned that secular Interfaith is agenda driven. We can speak of gay rights and women's rights for example. Yet how many threads here have begun on the question of gay obligations and women's obligations. It would be shouted down as absurd and creating divisions between people and the thought police would have a fit. Yet it is the same thing. This is why secular Interfaith could never appreciate what the arch enemy Simone Weil understood about equality yet it would be a given for Transcendent Interfaith.

"The combination of these two facts – the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it – constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality. Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect. This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings." Simone Weil

“Draft for A Statement of Human Obligations” SIMONE WEIL, AN ANTHOLOGY ed. Sian Miles

This suggests the humility recognized by transcendent Interfaith and denied by secular Interfaith. It may not be your thing and it cannot be a political agenda. It is the psychology of "being" that at one time unified psychology with philosophy.

The bottom line is that you can accuse me of disliking people I don't know and spreading Republican ideas but secular Interfaith seems to have an attitude of denial towards great ideas of the past that invited a unification with the above and below in favor of glorifying an image that doesn't exist or what has been known as idolatry.

"There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them." Emile Chartier
Sadly, secular Interfaith and its tool of political correctness only loves politically correct ideas and is offended at what isn't politically correct. it lacks recognition of what the Stoics knew as impartiality in favor of the superiority felt through righteous indignation. This isn't a matter of liking or disliking people but rather respecting the depth of ideas and the need for understanding that secular Interfaith deems unimportant as long as we are told what to do and think. It's not my way.
I actually had some great conversations about the intricacies of Nick's ideas and Simone Weil, mostly via PM. Yes, he seems obsessed about SW, but from what I gather it's kind of like the people who quote Jesus or the Buddha all the time. SW is his primary teacher/guiding light. Weil's ideas are actually very challenging and interesting. I don't agree with all of them, or with all of what Nick has to say, but we managed to have some good conversations. I did steer clear of the everlasting Obama thing, though.

PoO, I think I am beginning to see why you have the three little squares :))), it is because you always seem to see the ray of light shining through the dark clouds :)p).

When I was a new grad. student, one of the research faculty that I became friends with told me that it had been through the most passionate and angry discussions and arguments that he learned the most. This is because when our most closely held beliefs are challenged, we get very angry. Sometimes this will provoke us to more clearly define our own position and strengthen it. Other times we might have to change our position.

I have thought back on this many times in the ensuing years and realized that he was right. It was through those passionate interactions which I learned the most as well.

I am not going to trawl through all your posts to find out if my experience with you is comparable to that of others experience with you. I will just presume from what I have seen that you are consistent, something I do think you are. I have taken a few pops at you since you arrived here. Not once have you ever taken it and responded with anything remotely resembling anger. You have never responded to one of my slights on you as an individual and returned it with the same, never. You remained stoically on topic and defended your position and were never deflected into a slagging match. Maybe that is what people do not like about you. Your unshakeable integrity.

I am happy to see that your post did appear and I hope that common sense and decency returns soon as this place would be diminished without our very own old Nick.
You know we love you Nick...

I actually think the forum is diminished without your unique perspective.

Really? Didn't you congratulate him on being the first person to go on your Ignore list?

Well, in the meantime, we're moving on from this. Before this denigrates into mud-slinging, time to close the thread and keep moving forward.
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