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Passions in Poetry

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Stephanos
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0 posted 12-16-2008 03:22 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

The new poet/member "Vestibular Bard" responded in ideological protest to a poem of mine entitled "Common Ground" in Open Poetry:

http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum106/HTML/002852.html

Since "Open" is a poetry forum, I thought a discussion forum would be a better place to pursue a discussion / debate.  I nearly posted this in "The Alley" since VBs reply seemed like a rant (nothing wrong with that in the proper sphere, we all have 'em round here).  But since it did have some definite propositions in there that fall somewhere along the lines of Philosophy/Theology, I decided to post it here.  Here goes...


Vestibular:
quote:
What you call 'morals' Stephan, are nothing more than a cornucopia of cerebral programming,  that influences your myriad competing behaviors, and your judgment of those behaviors.

These 'morals' are written first and foremost by your genes, and  then shaped by your unique temporal experiences, that are strongly influenced by the social environment where your brain is being programmed.

Thus, your 'morals' are always being fine tuned, as you age and experience new situations. We even have a word for that, it's called maturity.


The point of my former poem was to deny any naturalistic explanation of morals ... or at least to suggest that those who hold such an explanation tend to treat their own morals as a bit more than the result of natural process (like genetic mutation or behavioral conditioning).  You illustrated my point quite well when you spoke of certain religious people being "smug" or implied their arrogance or conceit.  The tone of moral disapprobation is hard to miss since it communicates that certain behaviors/ attitudes are in reality "better" than others.  Of course I have no problem with that premise, because I believe it to be true.  And I don't think it should be nasty in spirit or used as a flogging stick (hence my reference in the poem about agreeing with those who disapprove of religious bigotry), but even that is based upon a moral conviction that cannot be mere convention or the result of random changes in genes.

quote:
In addition, the shared morals of a generation are always being fine tuned at a macro level by the evolution of their cultures survival strategies.  Thus, nice Christian young men did things they thought were perfectly moral and righteous in the eyes of your pantheon in 1808...

...that nice Christian young men like you, now consider 'immoral' in 2008.  See how that works?


I deny that morality is merely a survival strategy, though I don't deny that morality and successful living are (in a general sense) proportionate.  You should deny this also, since according to you religious bigotry and hypocrisy have survived well into the contemporary gene pool ... making its survival value currently unknown and pending.  I just want to make sure you have a basis on which to disapprove of that which you and I agree is deplorable.  

Otherwise, I don't deny that culture affects moral practice, though I don't think the moral convictions from century to century differ that much.  C.S. Lewis once wrote that the only reason the moral differences among cultures are so glaring is because of the vast amount of common ground they hold.  Can you imagine a culture where cowardice is admired, or where generosity is despised?  So could you give me some specific examples of how a Christian young man in 1808 might be fine with something that I would disapprove of now?  Then we'll ask whether or not that shows that our "morality" is really so different.


quote:
Your 'morals' are actually much better aligned with an atheist homosexual who lives across town from you, in Statesboro, GA, then they are with faithful Christians living in 1808 or 1608.


I never would say that atheists or homosexuals couldn't be generally "moral" people.  Though I, like the Christian of 1808, believe atheism and homosexuality themselves to be immoral.  And of course none of this rules out the fact that religious people may be immoral too, in quite other ways.  In fact it's part of the creed that Jesus Christ came to save sinners.  

So I really don't know how your example refutes my own view of morality (which is not simplistic).  I have only been insisting that morals are not totally subjective, culturally conditioned, or biologically determined ... as they would have to be in a naturalistic paradigm.  If that's too ambitious of me, at least I can point out that you don't handle your own morality as if it were such.  

quote:
Funny... but it seems belief in the Christian god isn't the major consistent influence in this scenario, it's simply the underlying foundation of the shared, evolved culture you both have to survive in.


I don't think that universal moral awareness depends upon knowing the Christian God.  We all live in God's universe and have attempted to scrawl imperfectly a common awareness of an image of goodness that is above us, in the form of moral prescriptions.  Moral prescriptions and conscience did not begin with Christianity nor even with Moses.  Jesus did not bring a new morality, though he amplified the signal a bit.  Rather, he came to deal with our inablity to live according to even our own standards, much less God's, in a unique way.

And again, I don't deny that morality is acquired and reinforced through culture and community, since culture and community is just an aggregate of human-nature.  An awareness of morals that transcend human-nature is a part of human nature ... and this awareness is proliferated in very ordinary ways.

quote:
... we certainly don’t need to reform 'it', and launch yet another brand, in search of new 'morals'.  If you don’t like your church, and it's smarmy and smug moral superiority, don't lay that guilt trip back on me, simply choose another brand. I hear the Methodists and Unitarians are much more accepting than the Baptists.


The irony is, you seem to be trying to "reform" it as much as anyone, based upon what I have read of your posts.  You have on several occasions protested their behavior and attitudes, having a theory that they acquired this from their cultural surroundings and genes, in the exact same way you acquired the belief that they shouldn't be that way.  No mistake about it, your present disregard of the Theology aside, your incongruous philosophy aside, you are an inadvertent reformer of the faith.  

quote:
Or choose to 'home church' and simply dedicate the time you spend each Sunday, singing wretched 19th century hymns, off key


Are you as zealous in your subjective and grumpy musical preferences, as you are with your moral disapproval?  Though I agree with you, my singing of hymns is atrocious.

quote:
I think it was Ghandi who said:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."


Ghandi did say that.  Interestingly enough though, that statement is often misused, regardless of how Ghandi himself used it.  Someone quoted this to me once, who denied everything Christ said except for a couple of favorite paraphrases (and those used quite out of context).  Is that "liking" him really?  It seems to me that the people who really like him and are drawn to him, eventually see that they have their own faults to square with, and find its no use beating fellow admirers an travelers for their faults.  On the other hand, I do admire Ghandi, and make good use of his statement to try and be as faithful to Jesus as I can (I've got a long way to go yet), since others are watching and scrutinizing.  There's enough stones to stumble over on the way to the wicker gate, and I don't want to add one more.

quote:
Once lived a beast myopically,
He still lives to this day...
The world he saw was black and white,
Devoid of shades of gray…
All things that wandered in his mind,
Fell neatly in two bins;
The good, the bad; the saved, the damned;
Those righteous, those who sin...
Till one day a sardonic imp,
Did save him from his plight...
By knocking over all his bins,
Thus mixing black and white.
And there amongst this sea of gray,
The beast did wail irate;
“I’ll never comprehend this world…

…if I can’t bifurcate!"


I'm going to have to quote Ron in order to respond to this one.  


"just as scientists must live their lives as if some things were beyond doubt, we all must live our lives as if the far spectrums of the probability curves were labeled with binary true and false values ...

'I want to be with you forever,' your greatest love says. That is heaven, even here on this mortal coil. 'Get out! Leave me alone,' your greatest love says. Anyone who has faced that ultimate pain knows something of Hell, I suspect. And, yea, acceptance/rejection is a necessarily binary condition. 'Let's just be friends' was never really an option.
"


You're right you'll never comprehend this world if you can't bifurcate.  Of course I agree that a world painted as stark black and white, in every instance, would be absurd.  But Christian Orthodoxy need not deny shades and subtleties ... It just doesn't deny the reality of boundaries, ultimatums and great gulfs.


C.S. Lewis said it this way:

"Blake wrote the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.  If I have written of their Divorce, this is not because I think myself a fit antagonist for so great a genius, nor even because I feel at all sure that I know what he meant.  But in some sense or other the attempt to make that marriage is perennial.  The attempt is based upon the belief that reality never presents us with an absolutely unavoidable 'either/or'; that, granted skill and patience and (above all) time enough, some way of embracing both alternatives can always be found; that mere development or adjustment or refinement will somehow turn evil into good without our being called on for a final and total rejection of anything we should like to retain.  This belief I take to be a disasterous error"

(From his introduction to 'The Great Divorce')


Thanks for the chance to respond,


Stephen.
Vestibular Bard
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1 posted 12-16-2008 08:13 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:
The new poet/member "Vestibular Bard" responded in ideological protest to a poem of mine entitled "Common Ground" in Open Poetry:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum106/HTML/002852.html  


Stephan,

Thank-you for taking the time to post this, and for allowing us to continue our conversation.

I hope you understand that I am a person who is brutally honest, and often just as brutally sarcastic. I don’t suffer fools well, and I’m going to be very pointed in this reply, demonstrating why you are wrong and also why you made an argument from ignorance in your poem. Please try not to take this as insult, it is meant to be a brief effort in education and perhaps a lesson in humility for you. I wouldn’t make this effort, if I didn’t think you were ‘worth it’…from what I’ve read, I do think that.


First of all, my reply wasn’t ‘ideological’, it wasn’t my personal ‘philosophy’, it was factual and precise in its accusations of your mistakes. It was made, to point out your poem’s gross argument from ignorance, it’s  silly bifurcation fallacy, and your pretentious claim to be some kind  of ‘angry reformer’ of some unspecified, Christian ‘truth’ that had been 'misplaced'. And that this collection of ambiguous rhetoric was all preferred to being a ‘blind’ human, with no ability to figure out why people are kind or ‘wrathful’…like you obviously can.

In other words, it presents the foundation, and time honored, lazy tradition of all religion and theology in a nutshell...

"My god dun it"...is always the preferable answer to:
"I don't know, lets try and figure out what dun it".



Instead of getting bogged down in responding to ever more layers of your fallacious crock of empty rhetoric in this reply, and having to deal with the ever so eloquent, simpleton musings of the world’s favorite Christian fantasy writer, theologian and philosopher…C.S. Lewis...

I will simply go back to your poem and use it to ask you some Socratic questions, so maybe you can figure out what the heck the meaning of your little poem is.

I am in utmost harmony
with your moral distaste
of religious truth misplaced
and spirituality wielded
as a kind of flogging stick


First of all Stephan, who is the ‘your’ in your second sentence?
Please be specific.
Now perhaps this poem is like a C.S. Lewis apologetic, and you are simply having a mythical discussion with a mythical demon, named ‘Screwtape’? Is that who ‘your’ is? If so, we can cut this analysis short, and just chalk the rest of the poem up to your rich fantasy life. No harm done.

But assuming ‘your’ is some unspecified real people, people who don’t subscribe to your particular brand of Christian superstitions with 'misplaced truths'….why and how would these people be able to have ‘moral distaste’ for something? Can you explain that?

Also please explain what ‘religious truths’ you are referring to in line 3.

Please explain how a religious ‘truth’ somehow becomes ‘misplaced’. Where does it go? Does your god or some demon have something to do with this? Do they forget where they left the 'truth' and then Moses, or Jesus or Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard has to come along and talk to a burning bush to 'find' the 'misplaced truth'?
I eagerly await your explanation.

Please also give some specific examples of ‘spirituality’ being wielded as a kind of ‘flogging stick’, and explain if you think you are guilty of this, and why you, or anyone else should have any ‘moral distaste’ for it.

If one Christian does something that they say is righteous, and it is the will of the one true god, but you come along and say it is ‘morally distasteful’, and a sin in the eyes of the one true god, and that these others are using their spirituality to flog people…but you are the 'angry reformer' here to fix their flogging sticks...

…who should I BELIEVE Stephan? Who has the authority to arbitrate between you and your Christian brothers? How is this arbitration done? I look foreward to your nebulous reply that we should all just 'Be like Jesus', and, 'do whatever Jesus would do in any situtuation'.

Let’s move on to your next stanza:

But I need to say this in reply
(no this is not a trick)
You sound as if you’re sure
your morals too are really more
than just vermiculate markings
on a dust-laden floor
inside a structure that only seemed
like it was once somebody's house


Again, I have to ask, who is the ‘You’, you are talking to in the third line of this stanza?
Someone specific here on the forum? Someone who has claimed their ‘morals’ are something far more lofty than the hackneyed, run-on metaphor you present us with here?
Are ‘vermiculate markings on a dust laden floor’ supposed to represent the neurons and synapses in my brain? Is this supposed to make me feel dirty and cheap for having to rely on these bilogical brain structures to make judgments? Instead of virginal spirits whispering in my ears. Does beind a human, a mammal, just another biological life form make you feel cheap, dirty and less special than you deserve to feel... Stephan?

And what of this ‘structure’ that only seems like ‘somebody’s house’? Is that supposed to be 'me', without your personal god, invading my body and making me all holy and righteous and guiding me with his supernatural magic in when to be kind and when to be wrathful? Please explain.

Again, please take this opportunity to explain, in your own words, exactly what you think human ‘morals’ are. Please tell us where human ‘morals’ come from, as opposed to say, where our ability to walk with balance and postural integrity comes from. Or where our ability to regulate our body temperature comes from.

Do they come from different places? Please explain how you know what types of human behaviors are ‘moral’ behaviors, and which ones are simply ‘amoral’ behaviors. And please explain how you have figured out which behaviors are morally ‘good’ and which ones are ‘bad’. If this ability involves supernatural feats of magic between you and your personal god, or the spirit of C.S. Lewis, please provide as much detail on the mechanism as you understand it.

Let’s take a look at your whopper of a closing stanza, the one dripping with strawmen and fallacious arguments from ignorance.

And though we are just babes
with rattlers in our mouths
It is better to grow up
even an angry reformer
of a faith gone far afield
than as one who can find
no basis at all for being
either wrathful or kind
or why even poor eyes are deemed
better than blind


Who are the ‘babes’ with ‘rattlers in our mouths’ Stephan? Everyone? Or just a subset of people?

Who do you think is in a better position to intelligently explain the various forces at work in individual human behaviors?
People with doctorates in Pyschology, Sociology, or Cognitive Neuroscience? Or nice, young Christian men who read C.S. Lewis books, other fantasy literature, write poetry as a hobby and enjoy playing Xbox with their friends?

Who is the babe?
And who is the person who might actually be able to explain why a brain lesion, or a  brain injury, can turn a man who once friendly and kind, into someone who is angry and prone to violent outburst?

It is you who are the babe Stephan. Look in the mirror, put down your pride for a moment,  and be honest with yourself.

It is you who appear to be completely uninformed of the incredible research and hard work being done in various scientific cross disciplines that study human behavior.

I could recommend some books for you at this point, but I’m not so inclined, because I doubt you really are interested in making the concerted effort to actually educate yourself on these topics.

You look somewhat smug to me in your comfy chair, and if I have read that wrong, please correct me and I will recommend some books that are approachable by the layperson.

For your info Stephan, not only have educated psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and cognitive neuroscientists established plenty of scientifically tested models for current and past human behaviors, including altruism and violence, they have even mapped these emotions to specific areas of the brain.

Ever heard of the ‘amygdala’ Stephan?
No, of course you haven’t, but I bet you can quote me C.S. Lewis chapter and verse.

So it seems Stephan, in an ironic twist of poetic karma and justice…it is YOU who are actually ‘blind’ to the myriad biological and social forces that shape human behavior. Don't worry, your brain did not evolve to understand itself, that is simply a byproduct of your species success at survival and specialization, these last few thousand years.

So it appears, it is you who are uneducated on these disciplines, that other men have spent their lifetime studying and testing, so that the next time someone has a brain lesion, that completely changes their behaviors and ‘morals’, a doctor might operate and remove it.

It is you, in your religious stupor and arrogance, who has projected your own ignorance onto EVERYONE else in your poem, and then with even more arrogance, you proceed to brag to us that all we need to do, is 'wait' for you to find some unspecified ‘misplaced truth’, that someone left in a closet at your church.

I’ll go against one of my own sacred rules at this point, and say that ‘We’, (the ‘You’ you refer to in your poem) won’t be stopping the work of human behavioral sciences, while YOU shake your angry 'reformer' fist at other people in the pews at your church, while searching for some unspecified, ‘misplaced religious truths’ in the church closet.

[This message has been edited by Vestibular Bard (12-16-2008 11:21 AM).]

moonbeam
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2 posted 12-16-2008 10:17 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
quote:    quote:
        You sound very certain of your ground when you talk about "modern science"

    I do? Where?



  
Here:

"These ‘morals' are written first and foremost by your genes, and  then shaped by your unique temporal experiences, that are strongly influenced by the social environment where your brain is being programmed."

And here:

"Genesis is a collection of sacred Semite folklore and allegory, and at its worst, just another one of countless, ignorant, cultural creation stories, told by ancient peoples, around their campfires, who were not informed by the modern science we have today."

And now again here:

"It is you who is wholesale ignorant of the incredible research and hard work being done in various scientific cross disciplines that study human behaviour."

And here:

"For your info Stephan, not only have educated psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and cognitive neuroscientists established plenty of scientifically tested models for current and past human behaviors, including altruism and violence, they have even mapped these emotions to specific areas of the brain."  

And here:

"and say that ‘We', (the ‘You' you refer to in your poem) won't be stopping the work of human behavioral sciences"

Now at least I am clear as to where you are coming from VB.  I wasn't wrong in my first, admittedly precocious, assumptions.  And I have to say that your "response" to Stephen exhibits all the fanatical religious zeal of someone who has submitted themselves to the Gods of medicine and science with all the corresponding blindness that that entails.  I think you are missing a good deal if you allow that to exclude all possibility of some element of the spiritual as opposed to the material.  But then, it occurs to me, that again I may be misreading,  perhaps you admit a spiritual dimension to life, just not the one in pre-packaged form that Stephen subscribes to.


Essorant
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3 posted 12-16-2008 10:32 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Vestibular

Make sure to keep your "claws" off the person you are arguing with.  It is acceptable to say someone's argument is "ignorant" for the nature of the argument, but it is not acceptable to say the person himself is ignorant, making your judgement personal and an insult to the person.   It is important to make that distinction, for it saves things from getting disrespectful in a personal way, and saves one's posts from being edited and often deleted by the moderators.  


SEA
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4 posted 12-16-2008 10:35 AM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

Essorant is right

keep it nice guys.

I think you all make your points just fine without being disrespectful.
Vestibular Bard
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5 posted 12-16-2008 10:59 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

Thank-you for the advice E and Sea, I have slightly modified my reply to Stephan to make it more to your suggestion.

BTW...I am vastly ignorant of countless things.

And I don't mind having that pointed out to be by people who are experts in something I am interested in learning about.
Vestibular Bard
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6 posted 12-16-2008 11:10 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

"These ‘morals' are written first and foremost by your genes, and  then shaped by your unique temporal experiences, that are strongly influenced by the social environment where your brain is being programmed."



What part of this factual sentence can't you come to grips with moonbeam?

If I told you it was gravitational forces that keep our planet orbiting the sun, would you also get up in my grill and claim I sound 'far to certain' about this relatively recent discovery of the high priests of Physics? That it could still be angels pushing the sun around the earth? That the jury was still out on that one?

And what if I scientifically explained lightening, thunder and fertility to you? Would you also laugh at my over confidence and smug certainty?

Again...why do you think humans are inclined to have just a single offspring at a time, that they care for, and feed, and defend to the death...for years....while a mother turtle lays countless eggs, in a hole on the beach, abandons them, and the vast majority of her 'babies' are eaten before they make it to the water?

Dang...you think that's something other than your genome and the turtle's genome at work there?


You think you're more special than that turtle? More 'moral' in some way? You think there's something 'magical' in you that's not in that turtle? Do you think your more 'special' than other mammals, like the the lions who would eat your anceint ancestor's babies on the ancient plains of Africa?

No, you're not. Your a biological organism, the product of countless combinations of genes that specify behaviors that help you and your species survive and reproduce. Suggest you look into that, and come to grips with it.

Now, again, I apologize for having a modicum of science education. I realize that section of the bookstore isn't as popular as the C.S. Lewis section...pity.
SEA
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7 posted 12-16-2008 11:24 AM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

I think I'm magical

just kidding...

the more I pay attention to science, the less truth I find in religion. It's quite conflicting. We have religion pounded into us from an early age but I've found it to be like bedtime stories for little kids. Spoon fed "answers" that have no fact to support them. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but don't want to fight about it with anyone lol so I suppose just ignore me
Vestibular Bard
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8 posted 12-16-2008 11:43 AM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

You are magical Sea...I could start a new religion around you quite easily with this troop...

Now then...back to chasing moonbeams...

quote:

Now at least I am clear as to where you are coming from VB.  I wasn't wrong in my first, admittedly precocious, assumptions.  And I have to say that your "response" to Stephen exhibits all the fanatical religious zeal of someone who has submitted themselves to the Gods of medicine and science with all the corresponding blindness that that entails.


There are no gods of medicine or science moonbeam. All the greatest scientists in history have been shown to be quite fallible...quite a few doctors too...

Medicine is not a 'religion', even though people sometimes wear special clothes, and go to fancy special buildings, where they read books, and perform rituals, so they can heal you when you have a boo-boo.

I could see how someone like you might get the two confused.

Here's an idea for you moonbeam, next time you break your leg, or get a nasty infection, or come down with some obscure cancer, make sure and get all indignant with the priests and clerics of medicine and science who treat you. Make sure and question why they think they know better than you and your god, when it comes to prescribing the right anti-biotic or performing the right surgery to heal you.

No...I bet when something like that happens, you are quite as a mouse. There is no theologian in sight at those encounters, just you in an examining room with a high priest of science.

Not to worry, if you are healed, you can always give the credit to your personal god, who heard and answered your personal prayers and healed you from the disease he specially designed and created to infect you.

Done amusing me yet with your "precociousness"?

Ron
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9 posted 12-16-2008 01:20 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I hope you understand that I am a person who is brutally honest, and often just as brutally sarcastic.

That might be true elsewhere, but it won't be true here.

I've been watching your posts for the past week, keeping my distance in large part because I knew others here would enjoy pointing out the flaws in your contentious contentions, but mostly because I saw a little talent and hoped you could learn to follow the examples laid out before you.

Brutally honest? Come on, we all know that's just a euphemism for being unwilling or unable to write persuasively. And, of course, writing is what this community does here. What you write about, while not unimportant, is nonetheless secondary. If your only goal is to bang on someone else's beliefs, you should find a community centered on beliefs -- either theirs or yours. That's not, however, why we are here. And make no mistake; if you intend to depend on brutality in any of its various guises, you're in the wrong place and won't be here very long. And that, I think, would be a shame.

quote:
If I told you it was gravitational forces that keep our planet orbiting the sun, would you also get up in my grill and claim I sound 'far to certain' about this relatively recent discovery of the high priests of Physics?

Far too certain? How about somewhere between far too simplistic and flat out wrong? You have read Einstein, right? I suspect he qualifies as one of those high priests. (Not incidentally, most of those high priests you cite, like Einstein and even The Grand High Priest, Sir Isaac Newton, were a little less quick to dismiss spirituality than you seem to be. I'm guessing they didn't understand their science quite as well you do?)

The mythical battle between science and faith is an old artifice, almost invariably invoked by people who know a little more about one than the other, but not a whole lot about either. There is no more a conflict between science and faith than there is between poetry and prose, or perhaps more appropriately, between heads and tails.

quote:
There are no gods of medicine or science ...

Of course there are. You've just accepted them so blindly that you can't recognize them for what they are.

Don't believe me? Fine. Provide for us, then, your proof that cause always precedes effect. It is, after all, the foundation upon which modern science is built. Surely, you don't accept it just on faith?

Hint: Calling something a "factual sentence" doesn't necessarily make it so. The word "proof" has a very specific meaning in science and math, but I'm sure you already know that.

If that one's too tough (and trust me, it is), maybe you'd like to explain why you don't dare divide by zero or why the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I could go on, if you wish? There are, indeed, no shortages of faith-based articles in your religion, either.

quote:
Now, again, I apologize for having a modicum of science education.

One should never apologize for an education.

What you might want to apologize for is apparently forgetting it was, indeed, just a modicum?


Vestibular Bard
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10 posted 12-16-2008 03:36 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

That might be true elsewhere, but it won't be true here.


Hi Ron,

How nice to meet you.
Nice place you have here...

{It's always nice for a heavy handed threat, to be the first greeting I receive from someone introducing themselves to me.}

How is the wife and family?
How’s the job going?
How about those Jets? They sure were lucky to pull that one out.
Here about that crazy Illinois governor?

Ahem...now then...Ron is it?
I see from your fancy forum business card, that you are the site ‘Administrator’, so I guess your threats typically make people tremble, and fall at your feet, and grovel for some kind of clemency and mercy for having raised your ire.

Hows that workin out for ya so far?

quote:

I've been watching your posts for the past week,


I thought I sensed a presence…I could feel the exhaust of your PC’s power supply on the back of my neck, and I could hear the far off footsteps of your mouse…close on my trail…cue the twilight zone music
quote:

…keeping my distance in large part because I knew others here would enjoy pointing out the flaws in your contentious contentions, but mostly because I saw a little talent and hoped you could learn to follow the examples laid out before you.


Mot people keep there distance due to my uncontrollable, explosive flatlulence...still you were very wise...

Now then...what 'contentious contentions' are you referring to Ron?

Can you be specific, and less assonant? {the children should now scurry to their dictionaries for the exact definition of that word}

Is claiming I have a 'little talent', some kind of back handed Ron compliment?
Is that something I should wear as a badge of honor or disgrace? Forgive me, I'm new, don't know if you grade on a curve or not.

Ron, one of your fine moderators, Sea, is right here, not hiding, and Sea has provided me some helpful advice and I have modified a post based on her wishes. She even thinks I’m even ‘moderately talented’.

Was there some SPECIFIC decorum that I’ve broken, that you can share me with, Ron?
Or should I just read your mind or pray to the high priestess of piptalk for the answer?
quote:

Brutally honest? Come on, we all know that's just a euphemism for being unwilling or unable to write persuasively.


No Ron, it’s more a euphemism for "I don’t have time to hold your hand and start your education in 8th grade Earth Science."

You feel I don’t write persuasively Ron? Again, I’m crushed, is that a decorum requirement here Ron?
Can we move on to the other charges?

quote:

And, of course, writing is what this community does here. What you write about, while not unimportant, is nonetheless secondary.


Oh my…so it’s just the WRITING part that is REALLY important…not WHAT you write.

Wow…that is really odd Ron, I admit I had no idea this was a site dedicated to penmanship.

Here I am typing, when all along I should be writing....how boorish of me.

This the best you got Ron?
Should I be amused yet?
Still waiting for my talent to shine through?


quote:

If your only goal is to bang on someone else's beliefs, you should find a community centered on beliefs -- either theirs or yours.


My goal is to express myself, and my many myriad beliefs and observations,  primarily in well metered and clever rhyme. Would that suit the purpose of this site? I don't need the rest of this, and will retreat right away from these lower fora on your command.

Remind me again, what is the ‘mission’ of your ‘community’ here Ron?
And how exactly am I violating the decorum?
I guess I missed the part on specific scared cows that are off limits here.

"Don't post any stuff that upsets Ron" did I miss that in the by-laws?


quote:
That's not, however, why we are here.

Ron, who is ‘we’?
Why is we in ‘bold’?
How many of you are there, Ron?
How many would there be if 'we' was italicized?
Is this a hive or collective?
Did members sign over some power of attorney to you when they sign up here?

How about this.... you speak for yourself, and I’ll speak for myself, in the first person? Kewl?
quote:
And make no mistake; if you intend to depend on brutality in any of its various guises, you're in the wrong place and won't be here very long. And that, I think, would be a shame.


Here’s the key thing I intended to emphasize in that statement Ron…HONESTY.

Not veiled threats, not unspecific charges, not speaking for everyone else, no pretentious claims of certainty or absolute knowledge…just honesty.

Feel free to change the phrase to ‘unyielding honesty”….or ‘Don’t have time to blow smoke up your pompous backside honesty”
quote:

Far too certain? How about somewhere between far too simplistic and flat out wrong? You have read Einstein, right?


Yes. I’ve heard of Einstein Ron.
Please feel free to correct my ‘over simplified’ explanation of 'gravitational forces' being responsible for the earth orbiting the sun.
Feel free to compare and contrast it with the sun being pushed by angels around the earth.
You do realize that Einstein’s relativity theories were theories of 'gravitational forces'…right Ron?...sure you want to wrestle with me Ron? Check your weight class first.

Are we through here Ron?
Or was giving a complete and thorough explanation of the role relative space time fabric plays in gravitational forces, to fetching moonbeams, another part of the decorum I’ve violated?

quote:

I suspect he qualifies as one of those high priests. (Not incidentally, most of those high priests you cite, like Einstein and even The Grand High Priest, Sir Isaac Newton, were a little less quick to dismiss spirituality than you seem to be. I'm guessing they didn't understand their science quite as well you do?)


Did Einstein ever refer to himself as a ‘high priest’ of science Ron?
Did Newton?
Then I have to wonder why you are Ron?
Why are you promoting blatant, rhetorical, fallacious hyperbole instead of reasoned argument and honesty Ron?
Perhaps you don’t have the talent? hrmmm?

I’m sorry, was Einstein’s favorite ice cream flavor also relevant to this discussion? Cause I don't know that neither...

quote:

The mythical battle between science and faith is an old artifice, almost invariably invoked by people who know a little more about one than the other, but not a whole lot about either.


So far you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge in either one, Ron.
I'm not really interested in your personal 'myths', Ron, or Stephans..I'm just here to point out the difference between myth and reasoned and rational argument in this thread.

Will you being doing that anytime soon? Or are you just here to drop your ambiguous pearls of wisdom on my apostate head before you burn me at the piptalk stake?

If you want to join the discussion Ron, please do, as a regular poster, without the snide threats and heavy handed hyperbole. If you want to preach to me, like the stern grade school principal, before you expel me, I’d prefer we’d jump to the second part now…before my talent is completely exhausted and my writing hand is cramped.

quote:
There is no more a conflict between science and faith than there is between poetry and prose, or perhaps more appropriately, between heads and tails.


Wow…pithy…is that copywritten?
quote:

Of course there are. You've just accepted them so blindly that you can't recognize them for what they are.


God

–noun
1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
3.(lowercase ) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
4.(often lowercase ) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.

Ron, it’s going to be hard for me to communicate with you, if you don’t speak my native tongue. What is yours? I know some Spanish and French if that will help you figure out what the word 'god' means.

Assuming you do hilariously believe anyone connected with medicine or science is really a god or goddess, I guess that would make you quite the polytheist Ron!
And Garsh! That would also require you to bow before me and worship me, lest I smite you for your sinful insolence.
quote:

Don't believe me? Fine. Provide for us, then, your proof that cause always precedes effect. It is, after all, the foundation upon which modern science is built. Surely, you don't accept it just on faith?


Garsh Ron, ya stumped me there…I guess the only right answer is ‘My gawd dun it!’.

quote:

Hint: Calling something a "factual sentence" doesn't necessarily make it so. The word "proof" has a very specific meaning in science and math, but I'm sure you already know that.



Hint the word ‘god’ has a very specific meaning in the English language, sorry you haven’t figured it out.

Are we having fun yet Ron? I'm not...I'd rather be writing a clever rhyme...
quote:

If that one's too tough (and trust me, it is), maybe you'd like to explain why you don't dare divide by zero or why the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I could go on, if you wish? There are, indeed, no shortages of faith-based articles in your religion, either.


Ron, you wouldn’t be a Philosophy professor at the local community college would you?

I’d really like to sign up for some classes next semester. Will all this material be on the test?

Ron, in all seriousness, can you perhaps explain to me why you are really, REALLY mad at me?
What exactly did I do to YOU?

Can you explain what specific forum rules I have broken?

Can you point to an instance where a moderator has asked me to change something I posted, and I have not complied?

Can you explain why in our very first encounter, you felt so endangered by me, you felt the need to threaten me and insult my talent, my education,  my writing and my knowledge of basic science or philosophy of science?

Let me take a couple of stabs as this.

1. Stephanos and/or Moonbeam are your realtives or close personal friends, and you are here to defend their honor….no problem…I get that.

2. I have skewered some religious/science sacred cow of yours, and you are here to save your wounded pet….no problem…I get that too.

3. You once went to NYC and were mugged…and you kinda recognize my accent...and now this is finally your chance for payback...now that you have all the power…yep…that happens to me all the time...

Seriously Ron, I hope you have taken this tongue-in-cheek reply in the complete sardonic jest it was meant. I  don’t see why we can’t be pals, and I welcome far more interesting and less confrontational exchanges in the future.

Now then…am I free to continue posting here as a member in good standing, or would you prefer I leave?

This is clearly your home, and I am but a lowly peon, a guest, and if I have broken your rules, or injured your cow, and you think it best I leave, I am obviously going to have to comply with your wishes…with or without an explanation why.

…btw…have you seen my and Serenity’s poems ‘If I was nice’ …and ‘If I was mean’ in your open poetry forum? If you permit me, I will retreat to there now, and forget that Sea ever told me about this alleged open ‘Philosophy’ forum.

I guess discussing philosophy, science and theology with wannabe poets….just doesn’t always make sense…does it?
moonbeam
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11 posted 12-16-2008 03:50 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ron!!!  You awful man.  Now you went and spoilt it.  

VB you're a pretty good chaser, you need to focus on chasing the right story though.

Perhaps we could rewind, start over.  This, uh, altercation began when I mildly asked you what the relevance of your initial comment on Stephen's poem was.  Unfortunately your fixation with heavyweight zapping at anything and everything all over PiP which looks to you like a right wing religious zealot started us off on the wrong foot.  

Ron has already point out the fallacy of the "battle" between faith and science, I prefer to call it the battle between the material and the spiritual (which is why I often disagree with Stephen), and until you understand that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, there is little chance of finding an arena for debate.  However if you are familiar with the way in which particle physics is developing together with the latest writing of Stephen Hawking, you might begin to see possibilities for the eventual complete reconciliation of phenomena and theories that can appear paradoxical at present.  On the other hand it maybe that paradox will prove to be the extent of our understanding of the universe: "the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain".

I have great respect for the medical profession and for scientists, I also have respect for many theologians.  The key here is the word "respect", I don't have to agree with someone to respect their views and refrain from calling them ignorant, and I suspect you will advance a good deal further in your crusade (if that's what it is) to persuade religious people of the error of their ways, if you learn that.

As for my views on the relation of animals to man, on christ, on genes etc, you will maybe find some of the answers to the questions you put to me:

Here:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000904.html#1

Here:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000903-3.html#54

Here:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001715-8.html#188

and here:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001745.html

Not exactly a religious zealot, huh?
moonbeam
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12 posted 12-16-2008 03:53 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Stephanos and/or Moonbeam are your realtives or close personal friends, and you are here to defend their honor….no problem…I get that.

ROTFLMAO
Vestibular Bard
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13 posted 12-16-2008 04:36 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

VB you're a pretty good chaser,


Is that a step up from 'mildly talented'? I'm tryin to keep score here...

quote:

you need to focus on chasing the right story though.


I'm sure you are about to tell the 'right story'...and I'm sure I'm going to get a good chuckle out of it.

quote:

Perhaps we could rewind, start over.


Sure...Hi, I'm the 'Vestibular Bard', I will leave the explanation of this given name, to your various mythmakers, who will write about me,  after Ron(the Good) slays me with his mighty sword in righteous battle to defend your honor.

There are a couple of VERY important things you should know about me:

1. Don't take ANYTHING I say too seriously...I certainly don't


quote:

  This, uh, altercation began when I mildly asked you what the relevance of your initial comment on Stephen's poem was.


Yeah...I think I've explained that 6 or 7 times now...I hear 8 is the charm...

quote:

Unfortunately your fixation with heavyweight zapping at anything and everything all over PiP which looks to you like a right wing religious zealot started us off on the wrong foot.  


Unfortunately, your ASSUMPTION of that, is what started us off on the wrong foot. Trust me when I say, religion is far down my 'fixation' list, especially when compared to say...a women's full and healthy bosom....can I say that here? Are there any children nursing in this forum?

You'll find my fixation, and reason for being here, center on my own brand of clever, rhymes and making people laugh. Have you read my work?

Didn’t we kiss and make up already?

quote:

Ron has already point out the fallacy of the "battle" between faith and science,


Ron has pointed out nothing. He has made an incredibly vacuous and meaningless boast, that you have just parroted. Don’t know what rock you or Ron are hiding under, but there are still young earth creationists home schooling their children in my country, so they aren’t exposed to ‘evil’oution.

Meanwhile, I was happy to see you accept gravity as the force making our planet orbit the sun and, not angels, the other way around…Some battles are REALLY hard fought…your should google Copernicus and Galileo for more on that.

quote:

I prefer to call it the battle between the material and the spiritual (which is why I often disagree with Stephen), and until you understand that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, there is little chance of finding an arena for debate.  


I don’t really care what you call it, moonbeam. Until you can exactly EXPLAIN it, in something other than empty, meaningless rhetoric, or wretched metaphor, all you have is an illusion of, the tiny universe you can grasp,  all perfectly reconciled with the personal god you keep in your nightstand.

Sorry…there’s my honesty again.

So, it’s very hard for me to debate Jello and fluff and empty rhetoric, nor do I care to, I actually belong to other sites for that….here I think I’ll stick to rhyming wicked metaphors.

quote:

However if you are familiar with the way in which particle physics is developing together with the latest writing of Stephen Hawking, you might begin to see possibilities for the eventual complete reconciliation of phenomena and theories that can appear paradoxical at present.


No moonbeam, I have NO IDEA what your are talking about. Please explain to me how particle physics is beginning to be reconciled with Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinuism or Janism?

How about we start you off with something a little easier on your noodle?

Why don’t you just reconcile Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Southern Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Unitarians,  and Branch Davidians with the 3000 year old Semite and Canannite religious traditions from which they morphed?

Then we can move on to you chanting ‘Quantum particle entanglement’…while a choir sings in the background…and you and Stephen Hawking can sing in unison…’Look! Let us all be reconciled with the one true god!”

Is this the place where I chuckle? Sure feels like it....

Ya think I’m too annoying at times? Be honest…I can take it.

How long have you and Ron been an item? There’s a good chance that I have more money and drive a nicer car than him…if you’re interested in giving me a chance…

quote:

On the other hand it maybe that paradox will prove to be the extent of our understanding of the universe: "the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain".


Certainty, like gravity, turns out to be ‘relative’ moonbeam. Ron and Einstein can explain it all to you in a much less ‘over simplified’ explanation.

quote:

I have great respect for the medical profession and for scientists, I also have respect for many theologians.  The key here is the word "respect", I don't have to agree with someone to respect their views and refrain from calling them ignorant, and I suspect you will advance a good deal further in your crusade (if that's what it is) to persuade religious people of the error of their ways, if you learn that.


No crusade. What would I be crusading for exactly? You think Satan has me on the payroll or something.

Here’s the deal,  I’m ignorant, and you’re ignorant…of countless things…nothing to be ashamed of. Say it with me…’I’m ignorant of many things’…’of most things’…human knowledge is cumulative and highly specialized….there are billions of us…nothing to be ashamed of.

No need to act like you understand particle physics…you don’t…do you? You don’t have a clue about quantum entanglement…and nor do the vast majority of people who are working physicists.
None of them claim it has anything to do with Ra, YHWH, Zeus, Shiva, Allah or Jesus. Sorry.

Why do people have such misplaced pride over being ‘ignorant’?…it’s not a slur, it’s a word that can be used quite accurately in discourse with educated people.

Do you understand the difference between the words ‘stupid’ and ‘ignorant’? It’s an important distinction. Words are the brushes of a writer and poet. I wouldn’t think I’d have to explain the word ‘god’ and ‘ignorant’ to people…I understand if they are not familiar with the word assonant.
moonbeam
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14 posted 12-16-2008 04:59 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"Trust me when I say, religion is far down my 'fixation' list"

Coo, now why do I find that hard to do, the trusting stuff I mean.  Your record speaks for itself.

"So, it's very hard for me to debate Jello and fluff and empty rhetoric"

You should have just stopped after the word "debate".  You are great at spraying important sounding, what was it, umm, "Socratic" questions at anyone within range.  Not so great at saying anything meaningful yourself.  

"Please explain to me how particle physics is beginning to be reconciled with Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinuism or Janism?"

No.  

When you ask a question that isn't arrant nonsense then I might.

"How about we start you off with something a little easier on your noodle?"

How about you start being somewhat less of a pompous jerk, sweetie pie     oh and btw that was just a little "tongue-in-cheek reply in complete sardonic jest" or if you prefer "a brutally honest sardonic jest" to use your insincere rhetoric.

See, it's easy to swap insults Vestibular Bard.

It's easy to pepper replies with disingenuous jibes.

My last reply was an attempt to try and have a constructive discussion.  It failed.

You go write your metaphorical verses and make people laugh.

Good luck.    

Oh, and try looking up "god" in even the online version of Merriam-Webster - you'll broaden your education.

PS You asked: "How long have you and Ron been an item?" - I'll let my hero answer that for you VB ... ta ta    
Vestibular Bard
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15 posted 12-16-2008 05:35 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:

You are great at spraying important sounding, what was it, umm, "Socratic" questions at anyone within range.  Not so great at saying anything meaningful yourself.  


Ron has already point out the fallacy of the "battle" between meaningful and meaningless, I prefer to call it the battle between the bull feathers and the horse hockey (which is why I often disagree with Stephen), and until you understand that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, there is little chance of finding an arena for debate.  However if you are familiar with the way in which particle physics is developing together with the latest writing of Stephen Hawking, and the music of Barry Manilow, you might begin to see possibilities for the eventual complete reconciliation of meaningless rhetoric with meaningful scientific facts and bad Las Vegas lounge music, phenomena that can appear paradoxical at present

quote:

Please explain to me how particle physics is beginning to be reconciled with Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinuism or Janism?"

No.  


K...thought you were just kidding on that one.

quote:

When you ask a question that isn't arrant nonsense then I might.


I admit that claiming some 'spiritual' thing-a-jig, doohickey, religious thing is about to be reconciled with physics by you, Ron and Stephen Hawking is hilarious 'errant' nonsense.

Is there a form I have to sign?

quote:

"How about we start you off with something a little easier on your noodle?"

How about you start being somewhat less of a pompous jerk, sweetie pie    


How about we start off with a nice Oregon Pinot Noir, some strawberries and chocalates, and I'll put on the Barry Manilow and Stephen Hawking Sing Duets CD?

Are you forgeting the first rule of the Vestibular Bard?

Are you really taking me this seriously?

Come now moonbeam...I'm going to write you a poem about this...

What could I do to convince you that I really do like you, and if I wasn't married, I would be far more interested in reconciling the spiritual and the physical with you, than I already am?...

Ron! It' a JOKE...I swear!
Vestibular Bard
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16 posted 12-16-2008 05:39 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

Ode to Words
- by The Vestibular Bard


A folly I find quite absurd,
Is humans in love with their words...
Yapping “God!”, and “Free Will!”,
In voice smug and shrill,
As they mimic the ignorant herd.

It is always amusing to me,
Some take it so seriously…
To their grunts and their yaps,
Some reality maps...
And they're here to enlighten poor me!

Our language is recent invention...
The sounds that we make for attention.
But please get a clue,
What you "say" isn't “true”,
It's just a symbolic convention!

So it's best if you keep this in mind,
When discussing your god the next time:
Its meaning pertains,
To the function of brains,
Something not understood by mankind.
Grinch
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17 posted 12-16-2008 05:58 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Gee whiz all these words are confusing
All the ass’n’ant acid abusing
But I must say your rants
Leave me peeing my pants
So spill it - what drugs are you using?

Vestibular Bard
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18 posted 12-16-2008 06:03 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

I believe it was the famous theologian and philosopher, C.S. Lewis, who once said:

'There are two kinds of people in the world; those that don't take everything so seriously, and those who are likely to ban Vestibular Bard from this site at any moment.
Vestibular Bard
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19 posted 12-16-2008 06:07 PM       View Profile for Vestibular Bard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vestibular Bard

quote:
So spill it - what drugs are you using?


I take a bladder control medication - Enablex.

How about you?

Anything you can share with the rest of us?
Brad
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20 posted 12-16-2008 06:22 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
How about we start off with a nice Oregon Pinot Noir, some strawberries and chocalates, and I'll put on the Barry Manilow and Stephen Hawking Sing Duets CD?



There is nothing wrong with a good Merlot.
Grinch
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21 posted 12-16-2008 06:23 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


A couple of heart meds and the occasional aspirin.

Ron
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22 posted 12-16-2008 06:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Sigh. I can clearly see I wasted a lot of my time, quickly followed by you wasting a lot of yours. Pity.

quote:
Ron: "That might be true elsewhere, but it won't be true here."

It's always nice for a heavy handed threat, to be the first greeting I receive from someone introducing themselves to me.

The part you quoted was neither heavy-handed nor a threat. It was one of those factual sentences of which you are so fond.

quote:
I see from your fancy forum business card, that you are the site ‘Administrator’, so I guess your threats typically make people tremble, and fall at your feet, and grovel for some kind of clemency and mercy for having raised your ire.

I suppose one man's threat is another man's warning. I apologize if my words were so unclear you took them as the former rather than the later. Generally, I expect people to know how to behave in public, how to treat others who share their space, how to more or less be someone most everyone can tolerate and like. I'm not usually disappointed, either, but when I am, I make it point to try to communicate my disappointment before acting on it. If my minimal expectations still aren't met one of two things typically happen. If it's their house, I leave. If it's my house, they leave.

Simple as that.

quote:
Is claiming I have a 'little talent', some kind of back handed Ron compliment?

Nope. Having any talent at all is purely complementary. Did you honestly expect a different adjective?

quote:
Was there some SPECIFIC decorum that I’ve broken, that you can share me with, Ron?

I wish I had more time to go back through your posts and be specific. If this was an indictment I suppose I'd have to make the time, but, really, I think generalities should suffice for a warning?

You could probably start by avoiding derogatory names. The general rule is to attack the post, not the poster. If you feel that can't be easily done, move on to the next thread.

It would probably also be wise, in the future, not to impose your own poetry or views on others without an invitation, implied or explicit. That's a tough one, though, because poetic repartee is mostly fun and mostly very welcome, and only becomes a problem in the absence of common sense. Going into a forum called Spiritual Journeys and answering a writer's spiritual poem with a contradictory verse is, in my opinion, a good example of lacking common sense. Hell, it's just rude.

Here's the thing, though, Bard: Most of our so-called "rules" are afterthoughts added to the site several years after we opened the doors. They're for the people who actually like rules and need carefully defined expectations. We get a lot of people who believe they're very clever and think they can bend our rules without ever quite breaking them. Ten years ago, I would play that game. Not so much so any more. Have you read our pipTalk Philosophy page? It's really all about Respect and Tolerance, and those seem to be qualities you've almost gone out of your way to ignore in your short stay here.

The Internet has developed its own culture in the fourteen or so years I've been here, and that includes its own nomenclature. Ever hear of a troll? They're nasty little critters anywhere, but they're especially dangerous in communities like ours because they have a really bad habit of taking other people down with them. I'm honestly proud that, so far at least, our people have demonstrated remarkable restraint in conversations with you. When names start flying it's often easy and all too common to respond in kind. I have to admit, the first draft of this post was essentially an echo of your own tongue-in-cheek nastiness, intended more to irritate than illuminate. Shame on me. My point, however, is that I'm not inclined to silently watch you provoke people into following your example. And that's going to remain true whether you break a rule or just incite someone else to break one.

My advice, if you still want to participate in this community, is to spend a little time reading in it. This forum wouldn't be a bad place to start. You'll find we've already had the science versus religion debate a few times, we've already talked about determinism (your "genes made me do it" argument), and you should even find a few worthwhile explorations into science and math. More importantly, however, you just might discover and decide to emulate a bit of the culture surrounding this place. Mostly, we're not bad people. And I hope to keep it that way.

quote:
If you permit me, I will retreat to there now, and forget that Sea ever told me about this alleged open ‘Philosophy’ forum.

Feel free. However, please don't make the mistake of thinking the guidelines or philosophies are any different in the poetry forums than they are in the discussion forums. That this reached a head in the Philosophy forum is simply a coincidence; it could have as easily happened in Open.

Just to be clear, your originating posts have mostly been fine as far as I'm concerned. Poke fun as you will. Your response to other's poetry, however, including those responses disguised as originating posts, have sometimes been somewhat less than fine. The honeymoon is over and some of what you've posted in the past week will be summarily deleted if you continue posting it in the future.


Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


23 posted 12-16-2008 07:12 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Looks like there was a flurry of posts between #10 and my response to #10. I type too slowly.

Most, it seems, just serve to prove my points. Not worth wasting any more time here. DNFTT

There was just one point deserving a comment, not so much for VD as for forum posterity. LOL.

quote:
No need to act like you understand particle physics…you don’t…do you? You don’t have a clue about quantum entanglement…and nor do the vast majority of people who are working physicists.

It certainly wouldn't surprise me to learn Moon understood particle physics (at least as well as any human does, which is to say we're all just mostly guessing). It's not like it's all that tough once someone does the really hard leg work. The math is harder than Einstein's Special theory, but a lot easier than his General theory (which borders on the impossible, at least for me). I think VD underestimates the intelligence of working physicists. Or, perhaps, overestimates his own? (Dang. There goes my promise to myself to forego the easy snipe.)


Grinch
Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


24 posted 12-16-2008 07:19 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
There was just one point deserving a comment, not so much for VD as for forum posterity.


Not so much for a STD!!

 
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