"This place is dangerous for trying to find truth"

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Avi, Nov 6, 2009.

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  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Breeze, I think Tao is best treated as an agnostic.

    It's not so much that he's banging Dawkin's drum, as much as he sets a very high level to his own personal beliefs. I read more uncertainty than certainty in his posts.

    However, I think Tao is unfairly seen as some form of Atheist's Bible Thumping Materialist - and becomes a target of general criticisms of atheism, materialism, and science, even though Tao holds personal views rather than a specific doctrine - which naturally irks him because it misrepresents him. That's my reading anyway.

    Tao, could you also be careful about using personal attacks, please? I'd like to avoid any direct name-calling, please.
     
  2. earl

    earl ?

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    Beg to differ I Brian, but agnostic implies relative uncertainty and seldom do Tao's vehement posts come across as uncertain and typically the most vehement ones are when he's suggesting materialist causes of phenomena. So you know that whole walks like a duck and quacks like a duck thing.;) earl
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Agnostics require a burden of proof - that's a very different stance to denying any proof may ever be available on any issue in the sphere of spirituality.

    As an observer, I do think Tao is frequently pushed into a stereotype that isn't his, and the result is simply antagonism because of it. Certainly that's a drum you've banged periodically here. And what does creating pigeon-holes for convenience achieve?

    Is everyone here who denies a specific belief therefore deserved of caricature? I know Tao can certainly give as good as he gets, but I would rather nobody be giving it out in the first place.

    Of course, everyone is entitled to their beliefs or unbeliefs as expected - I don't expect Christians to accept Mohammed, I don't expect Jews to give preference to Asatru, I don't expect Pagans to accept Sikhism.

    I would much rather each of us be accepted for our similarities, regardless of differences, and has always been a primary aim of this site - but I think over the recent past, there has been far too much focus on differences, and aggressively chasing these.

    Someone once said they preferred an active combative forum to a quiet one where everyone politely agrees. I think there should be plenty of room for a constructive and engaging middle ground.

    After all, if we were all sat in a pub, or other social meet, I think most of us would get on very well. I know some members have indeed met up, and enjoyed company.

    That's a spirit I think needs recapturing, so that IO really does feel more like a community, than a sparring ring, which is unfortunately how it is developing, and something I need to gently move the current away from.

    There are plenty of unmoderated, even moderated, forums where people can let loose and argue their stresses away, abusive of one another and calling it fun. I have never considered that a good thing for IO to become, and can't allow it to happen.

    I've always tried to support the quiet majority than the vocal minority here, and that needs emphasising again - because IO should be a place where anybody can feel comfortable discussing their spiritual beliefs - no matter what those are. Otherwise, all we have is a messageboard, instead of a community.
     
  4. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Tao is doing what atheists have done throughout history, he is poking his finger in the eye of traditional beliefs.

    I would like to see Tao identify a specific area of atheism that he can identify as his unique contribution and build on it. :)
     
  5. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Here's the thing, though Avi. Because you're bound to defend your own corner of speculation you wind up having to defend all the other corners- even if you're pretty sure they're utter crap. You're forced to make bedfellows of cranks and idiots and follow along silently while they make you look like a nimrod by association. Doesn't that get tiring?

    Chris
     
  6. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    This is going too far.

    If Tao is anything like me, he doesn't give a fig for what anybody else believes. It only becomes an issue when belief turns to action and therefore effects us.

    You want to go to church and read the Bible, fine. You want to start changing school text books so they reflect your religious beliefs, we got a problem.

    I'm sorry you interpret this as some kind of insult to religion. I'd have thought you were a wiser man. Or did you just forget to insert the winking smiley?
     
  7. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Could you please explain what you mean by this?
     
  8. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Sure, so far I have seen Tao put forth what I would say is the classic atheist position. He does not like to give his sources, but we know Chomsky, Humes, Spinoza and other European and American atheists and iconoclasts.

    I think Tao needs to identify a unique path which is his own and advocate for that one. Initially it does not have to be his own, it could be one of Chomsky ideas, or Humes or other. But when one can build on that starting point, and take the ideas down his own path, that is when the learning really happens :) !!

    A related idea is the notion of taxonomy. Bloom developed ideas around deeper levels of learning and understanding, this is what I am refering to.
     
  9. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    CZ, I missed this earlier post and just have time for a quick response.

    I am not using the expression "putting his finger in the eye of tradition" as an "insult to religion".

    I think you have seen enough of my posts to know that I believe that questioning popular belief and challenging traditional ideas is good.

    I am also not talking about what "anyone else believes", because that also matters little to me.

    I am talking about original thoughts and moving his argument to the next level :) (and here is the happy face !!).
     
  10. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    WHAT?!

    Have you asked this from anybody else in the forum?

    Seems like an unreasonable request to me.
     
  11. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I'm sorry.

    I didn't realize you meant the complimentary kind of poke in the eye.

    My bad.

    :rolleyes:
     
  12. earl

    earl ?

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    Didn't think I was imagining it re Tao's point of view, ("classical atheist"). :) earl
     
  13. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Coming from a "classic new-ager."

    Your fascination with Tao borders on the obsessive.

    If I were you, I'd ask my doctor about that too.
     
  14. earl

    earl ?

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    Actually, it is the world view he represents that I am interested in engaging, though admit to fascination that he seems uncomfortable with acknowledging the philosophy behind the consistent position he takes. earl
     
  15. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    :D Yippee I'm the centre of the universe ! :D

    Big thanks to my defenders and critics. Yet truth be told I do not write my thinking here for popularity or infamy. I am not even trying to be right as much as I am trying not to be wrong. I think thats about the best I can realisticly aim for. I like heated discussion, the kind you apparently want to discourage Brian..... good luck on that :rolleyes: The heat of debate is what keeps me posting. Being nice and pleasant threads are slow moving or it means discussing banalities or trivia...something I'm not interested in.

    Avi, I do not do heroes or cults. Everything is a source. And I am not going to tie myself into a closet just so you can comfortably label me. I dont catalogue what I read, and I have terrible memory for names so often a request for source woulkd mean me spending hrs searching...why should I do that? Netti put a stop to that for me about a year ago. What I have to say is my opinion. You can take it or leave it. I dont have any compulsion to prove myself right, despite my writing style. I'm just here to think slowly at typing speed. For me thats about 20 words a minute when I'm on a roll. Maybe thats what bugs some folks here, they are being outhought by someone whos thinking is almost geologically slow :D
     
  16. the breeze

    the breeze blowing down the road

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    I, Brian I appreciate what you're trying to do and there are people who like the knockabout type of debate that happens here. I don't find it particularly useful. I've been an atheist, I've studied the world through the portal of science, I've looked at a lot of new age stuff and buddhism, I've even attended christian masses but now I'm off into something much more dependent on personal testimony than grand theories. I think this may relate to some here but only a minority who are shouted down by some very belligerent and ignorant individuals. So I'll tidy up my personal conversations and be on my way with thanks to those who have been helpful in the last few weeks.
     
  17. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    I know, but there are some people that you agree with a lot, Chomsky is an example.

    Some sources are high quality and others are poor quality, I am looking for the high quality ones.

    Not suggesting you do so.

    Actually, Netti makes some of the strongest arguments in this forum. She is a good example of someone who provides sources and then gives her own opinion as well.



    I can't speak for the other theists, but I am not here to "outhink" others in this forum. I like to hear good ideas, new ideas, and convincing ideas.

    I think you have lots of good ideas, and I think the traditional atheist approach is quite logical, one of my questions is just whether yours is unique, your own and individual, in any way ? And yes, in order to answer that you would have to know what the leading atheist thinkers ideas are.

    On a slight tangent, I have been studying modern ideas in Judaism, you are welcome to read and comment on them in the Judaism sub-forum.

    So what I am saying is, out there, in the world of ideas, we have to compete if we want to say something significant. And competition does involve some discipline and effort. :eek:
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Avi,

    You list Spinoza as an atheist?
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I'l be sorry to see you go. I enjoyed your style. Sincerely.
     
  20. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Hi Paladin, Spinoza was practically kicked out of Judaism:

    And I think the Catholic Church was not too pleased with him either. He was one of the advocates of pantheism and panenthesim, but we can probably agree he was an iconoclast.

    Do you agree with this ?
     
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