An unusual, good thread about religion. June 25, 2003 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Who said MetaFilter doesn't do religion well? This truly soul-searching thread bears witness to what can be accomplished when the thread-raiders and thread-destroyers are good enough not to intervene and users are good enough to actually weigh in with their considered feelings and thoughts. Isn't it therefore self-defeating to conclude, avant la lettre, that MeFi is only good at certain, non-controversial, non-polemic issues? Why shoot ourselves in the foot if, given the right circumstances - perhaps happenstance, luck or magic - our boots are often so clearly and movingly made for walking? [Please add a thank-you note to all the posters who truly enlarged my perception of a big, weighty issue as is belief or non-belief in God.]
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 11:20 PM (25 comments total)

Can this guy write a sentence or what?
posted by y2karl at 11:30 PM on June 25, 2003

On the contrary, Migs, this is merely the exception that proves the rule. The shockingly good behavior and well informed opinions of that one religion thread shine so brightly because they contrast with the majority of threads on the subject here. I would trade the ability to have this one for ability to not have the others, as is the case on other divisive issues here.
posted by jonson at 11:48 PM on June 25, 2003

Yes, indeed, we should use this metatalk opportunity to thank the person who posted such a fantastic topic that developed into a wonderful discussion....

Oh hey! It was MiguelCardoso! How about that!
posted by Stan Chin at 11:51 PM on June 25, 2003

We also by the way, do do political threads well.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:57 PM on June 25, 2003

I can honestly say I had nothing to do with it, Stan. Apart from finding the website on a well-known blog I (too) often use, my post was actually badly worded and tendentious. I contributed one comment and it wasn't up to the average standard there. The more I post, the more I believe in threads and the less in the posts themselves, unless they're pointing to an interesting link.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:59 PM on June 25, 2003

i avoid any sort of god thread really cause it just develops into a mud slinging pile of crap pretty quickly .
So when i saw this one i was really surprised and quite pleased that although i may not have cared to enter the discussion im in a place where they exist.
I usually just type smart ass comments cause i know there is no point in me trying to explain things most of the time.
I'd really like to learn more from people here so i might start contributing worthwhile things to say rather than noise in the hope that people will respond in kind.
Its good to look at why things go right .
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:53 AM on June 26, 2003

i avoid any sort of god thread really cause it just develops into a mud slinging pile of crap pretty quickly .

Speak for your own threads, asshat! [/me flings poo.]
posted by kaibutsu at 3:20 AM on June 26, 2003

Miguel, I am trying to stick with you buddy, but the self-wanking is getting out of hand.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:32 AM on June 26, 2003

but the self-wanking is getting out of hand.

yes, please get help...
posted by y2karl at 3:34 AM on June 26, 2003

I would like, if I may, to posit that this thread was not a religion thread in the first place, but an atheist thread, and thereby, defeated all the mudflinging before it started.

Imagine, however, if the linked site had been a list of known theist celebrities... ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:19 AM on June 26, 2003

Once more, with feeling: there is no such thing as an inherently impossible topic or inevitably fractious thread. There are only petty, small-minded users who lack self-control when they are confronted with certain ideas which contradict their rigidly-held beliefs. Thoughtful, respectful grown-ups can discuss anything—even discuss it productively—but they must first be committed to encouraging and accepting all honest expression of opinion. Too often, people seem to feel that letting someone express an opinion is tantamount to an admission that one has been persuaded by it; therefore they feel compelled to defend their own worldview by attacking the other person's opinion (or, failing that, the other person).

If you don't like the tone or level of civility in a thread, look to (and hold responsible) those individuals who post disruptively and contribute to that tone. Don't blame the topic or the medium—because in the hands of more careful and committed individuals, they can flourish.
posted by rushmc at 5:52 AM on June 26, 2003

sgt, don't be so hard on yourself...I think it's worthwhile just reading a lot of the stuff here too, without ever commenting...but you have something to add too, when you want to, so you should...(and god wants you to, too!) ; >

I think that thread was great, but I think we (as humans) are kinda limited when it comes to religion in a way we're not when it comes to politics or race or sex or another hot-button issue, in that each of our responses to/against/about religion is deeply informed by our upbringings and acceptance/examination/reaction to the beliefs we were brought up with in a way that's not true when it comes to politics, sex, etc...We all have been indoctrinated (and not always in a bad way) with very specific and differing sets of beliefs, in a way different from the more limited ways we're all brought up to be hetero, or from a liberal/conservative/apathetic family, etc. Each family, i've found, cobbles together sets of beliefs that are then presented to us while growing up, whether inherited from previous generations, or shaped by life experiences of the parents/guardians, but presented to the children as set. Our individual responses to those beliefs, along with our life experiences, helps us create our own set, which will differ from the ones we were given, even if our parents or us profess absolute adherence to a certain faith/sect/religion. (I'm going on too long, but i hope you know what i mean)
posted by amberglow at 5:53 AM on June 26, 2003

My kingdom for a killfile.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:43 AM on June 26, 2003

I guess what I liked about the thread was the fact that it worked as a thread; the topic was secondary. I didn't post to it cuz the discussion prompted me to reflect on my own opinions, which I assumed were solid and well thought out, but which, when I thought about composing a post, turned out to be tenuous at best. But that for me is a good outcome of a discussion, even if I don't actively take part; and I appreciate Miguel's and others' optimistic attempts to provoke this in me and others.
posted by carter at 7:51 AM on June 26, 2003

My kingdom for a killfile.

Ok, but I can't see how you'll get your kingdom into the comments box.
posted by walrus at 7:58 AM on June 26, 2003

Thoughtful, respectful grown-ups can discuss anything—even discuss it productively—but they must first be committed to encouraging and accepting all honest expression of opinion.

I tend to shy away from both religious and political discussions precisely because I've found that far too many people treat their opinions on those matters as though they were indisputable fact. When one starts out from the position that his or her opinion is the last word on the subject, it's impossible to have a reasonable discussion.

It's nice to see that there can be a thought-provoking thread that involves religion and which doesn't devolve into mudslinging; let's hope this trend continues.

Though as a charter member of the Church of Scepticism, I have to tell you that you're all deluding yourselves if you believe that's going to happen...sorry, but I'm right, you're wrong and there's no two ways about it.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2003


(I kid because I love...)
posted by konolia at 8:57 AM on June 26, 2003

Paris: present day

"Mycroft Lacardos...has the tram branched to the cafes of Paris...I said some harsh things and...

Lacardos: "Always with the punch then apology Claudii, spare me the platitudes and listen...B.L.O.R.T. is up to something put aside the petty potential divorcees and circumnavigating the "Peelers", make a serious attempt this time and...

Clavdivs: "He and the Madame Unnamed have just driven by the most drab know the coach..."

Lacardos: "yes , yes but what is he and the unnamed madam been up too..."

Clavdivs: "Mycroft, do you see the man playing the Qanun?
Well, he has the most wonderful Alexandria Blend...excuse me..."

Later...inside a smokey portioned room. A flute is heard. A shadowed figure is seated, no hair. Behind him a shadow of a female is clacking away and a keyboard...

Lacardos: " do you know she is typing, i can barely make out the plasma screen...

Clavdivs: "...a blue tint, 48,000 decipixels..."

Lacardos: "Oh would you be quiet?

ShawdowFigure: "you both can stop your prattling and tell me why you have let loose your creatures that stalk me"?

Clavdivs: "Dr. Q...I knew it was you.

Dr. Q: (reading from text) ...'and moreover different wood treatments, this being polish or wax etc., can also affect the accumulation tabulation in the drawing room of a completely sealed room. Waxed surfaces tend to prevent the laying by up to 17 hours if freshly applied....'

What kinda garble is that? But your correct Claudii, I shall like an autograph for this Monograph...its for my collection you see..."

Then, as Clavdivs receives the Monograph, he depresses a small button at the top of his fountain pen, a small dart flies out towards Mycroft. Mycroft then stiffens and electrical surges occur throughout his or rather its body...

Dr. Q: "I knew it, a Killerbot A2-B, the latest, these have expanded memories and retractable flesh..."

Clavdivs: "I'm afraid....."

Dr. Q: "Yes H.A.L....

Clavdivs: (slaps Dr.Q ) ..." that we need to go to Vegas."

Dr.Q: 'Madame Unnamed...makesure Sherlock here isnt one of these A2-b models either....Vegas Huh?
posted by clavdivs at 12:37 PM on June 26, 2003

clavdivs: Then the horns kicked in, and my shoes started to squeak...
posted by weston at 12:44 PM on June 26, 2003

God really doesn't exist, you know.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:42 PM on June 26, 2003

god doesn't like it when you say that, pretty

; >
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on June 26, 2003

funny, you dont exist on that thread, pg.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:34 PM on June 26, 2003

I just checked out 26570, on the reccomendation of this post. Very cool. There (still) seems to be a lot of pent-up wisdom in the community, if only its members can be assured that their audience is taking them seriously. Mutual respect cures all.
posted by gsteff at 6:18 PM on June 26, 2003

Does this guy have anything better to do than fill MeTa will irrelevant masturbatory prose? Wait, I forgot, this is the guy with 105 posts to MeTa alone... Silly me.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:31 AM on June 27, 2003

Best Thread Ever. Seriously. Thanks Migs and all those who made me think for a change.
posted by grahamwell at 7:17 AM on June 29, 2003

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