• Leontiskos
    2k
    Evangelists: Those who must convince everyone that their religion, ideology, political persuasion, or philosophical theory is the only one worth having.Baden

    This recent thread by Mikie is the most unabashed evangelism I have ever seen on a philosophy forum:

    Here’s my unsolicited advice concerning all these questions and threads about God and Christianity.

    My advice: let it go. . . fairytales. . . Santa Klaus. . . Move on.
    Mikie


    One of the reasons that I am spending time on a philosophy forum is because I want to avoid the inane evangelism that occurs—almost always between Christians and atheists—so often on the internet. Most philosophy forums have a rule against evangelism, as does this one. If this isn't evangelism, I'm really not sure what is.
  • Mikie
    6.5k


    It’s an argument against evangelism by being against giving special attention and privilege to the beliefs and stories one happened to be brought up in.

    You’re welcome to discuss God’s existence or anything else. For theology, it’s fine. For philosophy, it’s a bore. In my opinion. But no one’s stopping you from doing so.

    As an aside — the fact that you’re so offended by this opinion kind of points to your own dogmatism. But so be it.
  • Leontiskos
    2k


    The thread is nothing more than evangelistic propaganda. No arguments; just assertions which tell people what they should or should not believe. This is the definition of evangelism understood as a pejorative. Again, if this isn't evangelism, then what is?
  • Mikie
    6.5k


    Yeah, this just proves you really don’t have a clue about what I was saying. I’ve explained the argument a few times — your defensiveness and “outrage” is both embarrassing and is preventing you from seeing it. That’s your problem, not mine.

    Also, I never once told anyone “what to believe.”

    Thank goodness most Christians aren’t as thin-skinned and dogmatic as you.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    I'll look forward to an answer from a moderator regarding the question of what is and is not evangelization.
  • Mikie
    6.5k


    Cool. So perhaps move this to the Feedback section.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    Cool. So perhaps move this to the Feedback section.Mikie

    This is already in the feedback section.
  • Mikie
    6.5k
    Nevermind — you did. Great— be well.
  • fdrake
    6.1k
    The evangelism guideline generally gets used when someone repeatedly posts the same thing repeatedly, like a worldview, without discussing it in a reciprocal manner. Like a bad preacher. @Mikie's thread resembles other (hypothetical, but with precedent) topics like:

    Should we be discussing whether perception is direct.
    Should we be discussing metaethics when it has no practical import.
    Should we be discussing formal semantics.

    If you were to argue "No, we shouldn't" for any of those, making a case means arguing for an imperative. There's nothing wrong with any of that.

    You can see that @Mikie 's engaged with @unenlightened charitably in the same thread. I don't think Mikie's comments being acerbic removes their charitable engagement with others in that thread. Despite that it may be distasteful.

    tl;dr - the evangelism guideline is generally used to catch people who broadcast the same message, all the time, in multiple threads, and do not engage in reciprocal discussion.
  • Leontiskos
    2k


    Okay, thanks for the clarification. May I ask a related question? I usually see the word "evangelism" used to mean something like, "an overly simplistic attempt at persuasion," such as simplistic unsolicited advice about what others ought to believe—exactly what Mikie's thread is. Keeping this in mind, I see older moderation trends along the lines of, "Not enough research went into your OP, so we deleted it." Is 'well-researched' still a criterion for OP's? Or has this criterion shifted with time?
  • fdrake
    6.1k
    Is 'well-researched' still a criterion for OP's? Or has this criterion shifted with time?Leontiskos

    I don't think we set the bar that high with it. If someone doesn't research their post, but writes a persuasive argument, I think we still tend to treat that as worthy of discussion. The only times in recent memory that we banned someone for low quality engagement are when their comments consistently are:

    1) so poorly formatted or written they could not be understood.
    2) irrelevant to the threads they're in.

    Of course we appreciate people putting in a lot of legwork for OPs. It makes the discussion a lot better. I think we tend to follow these criteria for reviewing OPs, roughly:

    A) OPs which are well researched and well constructed are exemplary.
    B) Well constructed OPs are good ones.
    C) An OP that states its issue or problem, or raises its question, in an understandable fashion is permissible.
    D) If an otherwise deletion worthy OP attracts an interesting comment from another member, we often leave the thread up so that the discussion the OP provoked can continue.

    If something isn't understandable, and hasn't attracted an interesting comment regardless, that's the situation it tends to be deleted in. Consistently producing threads, or posts, like that tends to get someone banned for low quality.

    I can't be particularly precise about what "an understandable manner" is in point ( c ). All I can say there is that I believe the bar is pretty low. We've deleted OPs like (this is an exaggeration):

    Sleeping Causes

    What does it mean when unseen happens to happen?

    Or Time Cube style walls of text.

    Hope this helps.

    tl;dr - so long as someone can understand what you write, your post will be fine.
  • Leontiskos
    2k


    Okay, that makes sense. Thank you for the thorough explanation!
  • fdrake
    6.1k


    No bother pal. Hope you have a fun time here.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    One of the reasons that I am spending time on a philosophy forum is because I want to avoid the inane evangelism that occurs—almost always between Christians and atheists—so often on the internet.Leontiskos

    Religious voices don't stand much of a chance here on the forum. Anything that shows even mild respect for religious ideas is attacked and ridiculed. Proselytization is much more likely to come from the atheist side than from believers.

    I'll look forward to an answer from a moderator regarding the question of what is and is not evangelization.Leontiskos

    Sad to say, @Mikie is a moderator.
  • Janus
    15.9k
    Religious voices don't stand much of a chance here on the forum. Anything that shows even mild respect for religious ideas is attacked and ridiculed. Proselytization is much more likely to come from the atheist side than from believers.T Clark

    I think you're exaggerating.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    Anything that shows even mild respect for religious ideas is attacked and ridiculed.T Clark

    Like tossing bits of bloodied meat into the Piranha River, I've sometimes said. ;-) (Although I think you're exagerrating a bit, despite the efforts of the various evangatheists there are some interesting philosophy of religion discussions here from time to time.)
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    Religious voices don't stand much of a chance here on the forum.T Clark

    Academic philosophers skew heavily towards atheism and the West has become more and more secular since the Enlightenment, so it is to be expected that a philosophy forum will resist religious approaches. Still, I expected the anti-religion to be a bit more robust given the context of a philosophy forum. The Reddit/Twitter level "Santa Claus and Fairy Tales" trope caught me off guard. Oh well, there are plenty of other interesting topics to engage.

    Also, I respect the principle that an OP which has received substantial replies is usually not deleted, even if the OP is sub-par.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Proselytization is much more likely to come from the atheist side than from believers.T Clark
    :rofl: Amen.
  • Mikie
    6.5k
    Sad to say, Mikie is a moderator.T Clark

    Sad to say, you’re as petty a member as they come.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    4.7k
    Sad to say, you’re as petty a member as they come.Mikie

    You can hear yourself, right?
  • Mikie
    6.5k
    You can hear yourself, right?Srap Tasmaner

    Yes. I stand by that. Vindictive people going around bad-mouthing others simply because they’re called out on their sanctimony is something I’ll gladly point out for the pettiness it is. Being a moderator has nothing to do with it — I’m not modding him in any way.

    If even responding to such childishness makes me petty too, as you’re implying, so be it. But I don’t initiate these things.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    4.7k
    If even responding to such childishness makes me petty too, as you’re implying, so be it. But I don’t initiate these things.Mikie

    "He started it!" Yeah, that's not childish.

    What kind of person you are is none of my business. I do think you might consider whether your behavior here is good for the forum -- that's the extent of my interest here, so that's all I'll say. You can put me on the "sanctimonious" list if you like, I won't mind.
  • Hanover
    12.3k
    My two cents:

    I tend to favor a less expansive definition of evangelism so as to keep conversation as open as possible on the topic. On the religious side of things, evangelism is clear because it tends towards a dogmatic support of a particular theology, which does not offer much to discuss by those outside that particular tradition. But as long as the person is willing to consider the problems in their position (like, for example something like the logical problems with the triunity), I think it's fair game.

    On the atheist side of things, what constitutes evangelism is less clear because that term is typically assigned to theists, particularly Christians, and particularly fundamentalist ones. I know that's not necessarily the case, but I do think it's why atheists bristle at being called evangelicals, especially when that term is most often used to describe a way of thinking entirely contrary to their way of thinking.

    I suppose at some point we moderators might need to hyper-define "evangelism" so we can conduct a more legalistic analysis to be sure we're applying the standard properly across the board, but what I can say (and speaking here of someone who is very much a theist) is that the comments of the sort that say "it's all bullshit" aren't very helpful. Whether those sorts of comments are a form of evangelism or not, as a theist, I can only ignore them. They don't add to the discussion, cause me to rethink anything I previously believed, or explore the reasons I might have for the belief. I'd say the same in the non-religious context, like if someone said my interpretation of Kant was "stupid as shit" (or the like) without offering any more explanation.

    So, more than focusing on what "evangelical" means, maybe not enter a conversation if your objective is just to throw rotten tomatoes at the other side. This isn't to suggest that you must allow theists to get away with making unsubstantiated comments, but if those responses are not substantive, the response will likely be in kind and the conversation will quickly become derailed.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I think you're exagerrating a bit,Quixodian

    My old friend @Wayfarer would have agreed with me... maybe not.

    I think you're exaggerating.Janus

    Hmmm... I'm trying to decide if you and Quixodian are right... I don't think so. I admit I do feel the need to speak strongly on these issues.
  • Baden
    15.8k
    tl;dr - the evangelism guideline is generally used to catch people who broadcast the same message, all the time, in multiple threads, and do not engage in reciprocal discussion.fdrake

    :100:

    @Leontiskos

    I strongly disagree with @Mikie's generalization as per the quote, but his is an opinion that's perfectly acceptable to express here, just as it's perfectly acceptable to express the opposite view. What is not ok is to use the forum predominantly as a tool for whatever ideology, religious or otherwise.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Still, I expected the anti-religion to be a bit more robust given the context of a philosophy forum.Leontiskos

    Yes, that's one of my main complaints about anti-religious discussions here on the forum. They rarely have substance. People pull out the flying spaghetti monster and think that's all they have to say.
  • Baden
    15.8k


    That's not really a mod bias but the prevailing mode of discussion, which is not necessarily indicative of what we want to see. There's superficial atheism and superficial religiosity. In a consumer society they dominate and hardly differ, imo. Does it even matter what most people say on the subject when the basic way of life, notion of success etc. is so similar?
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    That's not really a mod bias but the prevailing mode of discussionBaden

    Yes, I was talking about the forums modus operandi, not any action by the moderators.

    And to be clear, I don't think there is anything wrong with having discussions like @Mikie's here on the forum. I just wanted to point out the irony of his position.

    Does it even matter what most people say on the subject when the basic way of life, notion of success etc. is so similar?Baden

    To some extent, I think the hostility toward religion here leads to the low quality of many religion-related discussions. Even nuanced and expansive discussions of religious issues tend to be steered toward typical simplistic, repetitive arguments.
  • Baden
    15.8k


    OK, fair enough.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    To some extent, I think the hostility toward religion here leads to the low quality of many religion-related discussionsT Clark

    Have you watched any of the online debates/exchanges between theists and atheists that you consider high quality. If so, can you provide an example link? I would enjoy watching what you and some others on TPF consider a high quality exchange between atheists and theists.
    FWIW, I personally thought @Mikie's thread was a good one.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Have you watched any of the online debates/exchanges between theists and atheists that you consider high quality.universeness

    I said religion-related discussions, not discussions between theists and atheists. That was my point - all religious discussions are not about whether or not God exists, although the atheists on the forum try to turn all religious discussions in that direction.

    I personally thought Mikie's thread was a good one.universeness

    I'm not surprised. You think anything that shows disrespect for religion is good, no matter how badly thought out or weakly argued.
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