So Long and Thanks for all the Fish
July 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm #1726
I blundered into the ThinkAtheist site a couple of years back when Google sent me there during the election of Pope Francis, and I have appreciated the many thoughtful, and spirited members who have both taken me to task and engaged respectfully with me in the intervening time.
With the change of site ownership, I note that the Guidelines have been rewritten, from the very simple TA Guidelines to the new more Orwellian version. This past week, after @davis rewrote one of my replies as a group admin, I received a very cryptic notification from @strega that I was disabled for violating Guidelines 3, 4, and 5 I believe. There was no mention of any post where the moderators felt that I had been engaged in “Harassment, trolling, threats of violence, stalking, disorderly behavior, personal attacks, and hate speech”, and so no opportunity for me to either learn or to apologize.
I have always said that I am a guest here, and that I would depart with no hard feelings if ever folks felt that my presence was disruptive or unwelcome to the regulars. Every group needs safe spaces to discuss and vent, and if the presence of an old, professorial theist is too disruptive I completely respect that. There really was no need to rewrite the Guidelines to push me along; you just had to ask. (In fact, I really wish you’d change them back after I go since they were apparently used to temporarily ban @popebeanie as well.)
So thank you for your time, your thoughts, and your arguments. I wish each of you the very best, and only ask in parting that you continue to be thoughtful and skeptical. Theist or atheist, we all can fool ourselves, especially if we do not seek out and entertain the views of fellow travelers of good will that differ from our own.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
July 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm #1729
- This topic was modified 4 years ago by DrBob.
@drbob those guidelines were NOT written specifically against you! I always felt like you had become a part of our community and we accept you for who you are and what you believe. I don’t know about the circumstances of what happened exactly but I can tell you this, you are not the first or the last to be called upon by the moderators. They have a very tough job and they have to make decisions.
To take a stance that you have been singled out is unfair, and it is playing the victim role. Just because you are one of the only theists on the site does not mean we are trying to get rid of you or that you are not welcome. Instead of leaving this community I would recommend that you reach out to the moderators for clarification of what their point of view was.
It really hurts me that after all of this time you feel this way. I would have thought as a professor and as someone that I considered to be a friend you think that just up and leaving like this will have no impact on this community. You think that none of us care about you? You think that by leaving with this sort of bitterness will not hurt us too? Do you think that after all this time we don’t enjoy your presence? You think that you had nothing to offer?
I’m hurt by what you are doing. And I think you know that. You hurt me in more ways than one by all of this nonsense. I don’t even have the words to say goodbye to you. I think what you are doing is selfish. If we mean so little to you then I guess I’ve been fooled. If you really consider yourself a guest then I suppose you have to do what you choose. But you don’t leave without leaving scars.July 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm #1732
Lies. Dirty lies. That isn’t how it happened Dr. Bob. I am, in any case, surprised you haven’t been called out before for violating the guidelines. I will greatly miss the ducking and dodging and the disparaging judgements and comments about atheists and atheism. How ever will we get by without your “friendly commentary”? Bye
July 29, 2015 at 6:32 pm #1737
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Davis.
@davis Thanks Bro from one Athiest to another. There are plenty of shitty sites where one can waste time with Apologists.July 29, 2015 at 6:55 pm #1738
I will be sad to see @drbob go. It may be there are plenty of shitty sites with shitty apologists but Dr Bob is not one of them. He is an apologist of a rarer type with more quality.
As such I got a lot from the debates I had with him. I obviously don’t know everything that happened but I’d appreciate if someone in the know could fill us in. I had many debates with Dr Bob on TA and he never seemed more forthright than, for example, @davis or I were with him. In fact he made frequent references to the TA guidelines and appeared to respect them. If someone knows different and he has since transgressed then please bring me up to speed.
Thanks for a different point of view, Bob.July 29, 2015 at 6:57 pm #1739
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
Can’t really see how the updated guidelines are “Orwellian”. You were always welcome as a guest here Dr. Bob. However I still have no understanding of what you meant by the term “God” and even less of what you actually believe about “Him”. Best wishes and may your God go with you as this old Irish Catholic used to say..
July 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm #1748
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Reg the Fronkey Farmer.
Cheerio Bob. I’ve enjoyed a lot of your posts and been frustrated at others but you were never boring. Just a quick point, mate, I have never sent you any note, not sure where you got that from but no worries. If you feel like hanging your boots up, I’d understand, but you’re quite welcome to pop back as and when.
StregaJuly 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm #1756
Ok well if you are leaving I suppose that’s your choice Bob. Is it not an option to maybe learn from your mistakes with your approach on how you present certain topics?
Good luck to you either wayJuly 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm #1757
@drbob I’m so angry and hurt by this. You dragged me into the middle of all of this knowing that I would care. Knowing that I would try to help you and be there for you. I feel like you took advantage of me. I feel like you deliberately tried to hurt me out of spite for your anger against other members of this forum. I had nothing to do with the initial events that led up to all of this. But you played on my sympathies and tried to turn me not only against my friends, but to believe that my own ambitions were impossible. You knew I was the one member who really cared deeply, because that’s the kind of person I am. And you lied to me. Whether or not it was consciously done on purpose, or subconsciously done out of your own hurt, I do not know. But the fact that you are now acting this way for all to see only adds to the hurt. You knew that I would try to help you…and I did. You knew that I would advocate for you…and I did. You knew all of this…that’s why you did things the way you did. Now I’m deeply sad. Does that even matter to you? Do you even care? Or are you just like everyone else that comes into my life…that tries to use me for who I am?July 29, 2015 at 10:36 pm #1765
@bellerose hey! We don’t all use you! Well, we use your posts to cheer ourselves up because they’re great :). Let it go, honey.
@drbob. So long and thanks for all the fish, a great quote from a bloody marvelous atheist, Douglas Adams – now that IS someone I miss.July 30, 2015 at 2:24 am #1780
Rage quit. Nice.
Don’t let the screen door smack you in the ass on your way out, Bob.July 30, 2015 at 2:28 am #1781
Gallup’s MirrorParticipantAugust 1, 2015 at 12:34 am #1887
I’ve taken things too personally and only in the past few years changed it to “it’s not always about me”. Even beyond that, “it’s not always about anyone in particular”. I’ve not assumed (for long, at least) that any behavior at TA or AZ is necessarily worse than people shooting wads because of an unexpected jolt of paranoia or a bad hair day. (I could google shooting wads, but was it first used in American Civil War stories, or maybe musket stories before that. Wait, I dunno, canons? Bows and arrows? Adam and Eve?)
Anyways, I’ve appreciated Dr. Bob’s comments even when they weren’t straightforward or when they incurred more speculation or perplexion than concise conclusions. Often after initial frustration, I tried to put my mind in his mind which was perhaps in the minds of current or potential fellows/followers of Catholicism, himself believing strongly in it or at least in its future. So I always tried to respond with a wider religious bunch of readers in mind, not just Dr. Bob.
He is/was still honest enough to admit that he “chose” Catholicism because that’s the local culture he grew up with. Above all other generalizations about religion, I maintain that culture and its peer pressure is what most drives human beings to believe in something, anything by default, and our social brains naturally default to what’s perceived as being the most socially acceptable, at a local level. We want to feel unique, but more than that we want to feel accepted and loved. The endeavor to define faith and meaning in some kind of “universal” context/mandate challenges libertarian intellects. Evolution has honed both our capacity for local, in-group empathies, and our broader, out-group prejudices.
Unification of local culture has been preternaturally enhanced by our inventions of myth, gods and God, angels, state deities, spirits in nature, the omnipotence of Santa Claus and Jesus Christ, and so on. Humans pressured to role play and unify in spirit helped build and defend civilizations, destroy them and rebuild them; only recently has in-group empathy vs out-group intolerance widened to a global stage of existentialism. Humanity needs to culturally evolve beyond its ignorance and intolerance of out-groups, and the only way I see this happening is if we can set a good example and positively influence outsiders. (IMO, that includes “we” atheists. Tolerate the tolerant, but not the intolerant. This feels like a 1960’s mantra, but look how tolerant we’ve become in 50 years, at least internally. Let’s see, I wonder if AdoptAGayMuslim.org is still available…)August 1, 2015 at 1:17 am #1888
(Should I have instead said “existentialistism”?)August 1, 2015 at 7:51 pm #1982
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