Atheists, when did you lose your faith? March 14, 2005 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Not to beat a dead horse, but I thought threads like this were deemed chat filter and not appropriate for Ask MeFi.
posted by Specklet to Etiquette/Policy at 10:21 AM (116 comments total)

I personally don't mind the occasional chat-like open-ended question, but I'd like to know where the lines are.
posted by Specklet at 10:22 AM on March 14, 2005


sod the lines. I love the question, and it's definitely increasing my knowledge of the sum of human experience.
posted by bonaldi at 10:29 AM on March 14, 2005


the last time this got brought up, the thread was completely overrun by snark. I think it's a good question, but the answer in the past has been that there really are no lines. Some are allowed, and some are killed. This one has some thoughful replies going, so it's probably not going to go away.

Which doesn't give people much help figuring out what an acceptable question might be.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:32 AM on March 14, 2005


Anti-chatfilter measures have never been enforced, only mysteriously rumored. It's to the point now where, practically speaking, chatfilter's rather encouraged.
posted by xmutex at 10:33 AM on March 14, 2005


sod the lines. I love the question, and it's definitely increasing my knowledge of the sum of human experience.


Exactly. This is good shit, and more useful & meaningful to me than another question about itunes.
posted by Quartermass at 10:41 AM on March 14, 2005


This discussion needs an infusion of interesting material. Even the originator doesn't much care. Can someone strongly object to the thread in question and insist it be deleted? Please say that it's chatty, but secretly want it banned in the name of Jesus. If someone could do that, it would be awesome.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:45 AM on March 14, 2005


That one's OK since the responses help answer a particular problem (Why do people lose their faith?) that couldn't be easily answered any other way.

On the other hand this one is awful and a quick Google will reveal hundreds of message board threads with exactly the same question and exactly the same answers. There's even a Wikipedia article about it.

(As deletion is Matt's chosen way of saying what's discouraged, I don't think Matt should be shy about deleting AskMe threads even if they have already got lots of responses)
posted by cillit bang at 10:49 AM on March 14, 2005


I wonder if both the anti-chat purists and the chatty-Kathies might be satisfied with an alternate way of starting chatty subjects: Start them over on another site (such as, in this case, the Atheism or Atheism Debate boards on BeliefNet), posting an announcement on MeFi and having the ChatFilter over there. This way, one can get the inputs of his fellow MeFites without arousing the MeFite snarks that often accompany ChatFilter. I happen to know that the Atheist community on BeliefNet is as articulate as just about any other on the web (including MeFi).
posted by Doohickie at 10:52 AM on March 14, 2005


It's an excellent question.

Thank you borkingchikapa for asking it.

This discussion needs an infusion of interesting material.


How about "with so many Christians freaking out in maniac hysterics everywhere I go, it's nice to read of others who are able to think clearly."
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:01 AM on March 14, 2005


Some are allowed, and some are killed. This one has some thoughful replies going, so it's probably not going to go away.

Which doesn't give people much help figuring out what an acceptable question might be.


Yeah, that's basically what I thought...


I want to be clear that I don't have a problem with the question or the content of the responses, but rather the type of question it is.
posted by Specklet at 11:04 AM on March 14, 2005


Auto owners: when did you lose your car keys?
posted by quonsar at 11:18 AM on March 14, 2005


quonsar: My born-again neighbor exorcised them from my pocket this morning. Hallelujia!
posted by Plutor at 11:20 AM on March 14, 2005


Auto owners: when did you lose your car keys?

I do not believe in cars, therefore I had no keys to lose.
posted by dodgygeezer at 11:36 AM on March 14, 2005




Chatfilter is here to stay. I would prefer that it be in a separate section so that people don't have to go through the often pointless exercise of making something into a question when they really just want to hear other people's experiences and so that it would be easier for those of us who find it uninteresting to ignore it, but it's not that difficult to spot and ignore as it is, I reckon.
posted by anapestic at 11:50 AM on March 14, 2005


That thread is meaty reading, damn it.
posted by orange swan at 11:55 AM on March 14, 2005


Why is this chatfilter? How is "how did you lose your faith?" different from "how did you find a decent bread machine?" Neither of them are "what's your favorite color?"-- they're both asking for specific helpful information.
posted by transona5 at 12:03 PM on March 14, 2005


it's good stuff, I loved reading it. additional evidence that here we can discuss religion well, contrary to conventional wisdom
posted by matteo at 12:05 PM on March 14, 2005


How is "how did you lose your faith?" different from "how did you find a decent bread machine?" Neither of them are "what's your favorite color?"-- they're both asking for specific helpful information.

I think that people who enjoy the MetaEssay aspects of AskMe should just say they enjoy it. Can you really not see the difference between those two inquiries? One leads to helping you find a good bread machine. Does that mean that the other leads to helping you lose your faith? No. There is perhaps nothing wrong with wanting to hear about people's experiences, but there is a difference between a call for philosophical rumination and concrete assistance.
posted by anapestic at 12:06 PM on March 14, 2005


The question about life changing childhood experiences is a comparable thread - could have been chatty, but got such thoughtful, moving answers that it was amazing reading and Matt noted it on the sidebar. Matt's just not one to axe great content, even if it doesn't quite fit the scope of the particular page it's on.
posted by orange swan at 12:11 PM on March 14, 2005


MetaFilter: Banned In The Name of Jesus.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:14 PM on March 14, 2005


Great thread, thanks for pointing it out.
posted by loquacious at 12:17 PM on March 14, 2005


Said orange swan: The question about life changing childhood experiences is a comparable thread - could have been chatty, but got such thoughtful, moving answers that it was amazing reading and Matt noted it on the sidebar. Matt's just not one to axe great content, even if it doesn't quite fit the scope of the particular page it's on.

This ought to be required reading for everyone who keeps looking for and whining about rules, their perceived unfairness or uneven application, or the lack thereof.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2005


You could say that instead of a question in search of an answer, this is an answer in search of a question. That is, if atheism is the answer then what questions did you ask yourself to get there.
posted by dodgygeezer at 12:27 PM on March 14, 2005


I think that what I'm hearing is that if the question is chatty but will lead to interesting/enjoyable comments, then it's deemed worthy.

However, I do not agree with this:

That one's OK since the responses help answer a particular problem...

Or this:

Neither of them are "what's your favorite color?"-- they're both asking for specific helpful information.

As anapestic pointed out, There is perhaps nothing wrong with wanting to hear about people's experiences, but there is a difference between a call for philosophical rumination and concrete assistance. This was not a question with a finite answer, it was an invitation for philosophical discussion.

I, too, would prefer that the chatty stuff be in a separate section, but it is easy enough to bypass if I'm not interested. Which I will do from now on.

On preview: I'm not whining about the rules; and I have no problem with the thread I used as an example. As I stated: I'm confused about the type of questions that will and will not be permitted on Ask Me. I think I got it now, though. Chatty but deemed valuable and interesting (by whom I'm not sure) is permittable. Asking "Who likes pancakes?" is not.
posted by Specklet at 12:30 PM on March 14, 2005


chatfilter occurs because people like to answer questions.

questions that ask for opinions or anecdotes means everyone gets to answer! YAY!
posted by fishfucker at 12:32 PM on March 14, 2005


I'm not whining about the rules

rules? you mean the arbitrary, mood-based judgements of teh ONE.
posted by quonsar at 12:39 PM on March 14, 2005


I like pancakes. Do you like pancakes? I like pancakes with butter and syrup.
posted by loquacious at 12:40 PM on March 14, 2005


I like pancakes with blueberries and powdered sugar on them. With bacon.
posted by unreason at 12:46 PM on March 14, 2005


q: do you get your rocks off on bashing mathowie?
posted by xmutex at 12:49 PM on March 14, 2005


Specklet: you might as well ask the difference between asking for recipes of a specific type and asking for jokes of a specific type. The first is acceptable, but the second is not. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:51 PM on March 14, 2005


Specklet, while we're at it, why not delete this thread while we're at it? Way too chatty, am I right?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:21 PM on March 14, 2005


while we're at it while we're at it while we're at it

You get the point.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:22 PM on March 14, 2005


PancakeFilter!
posted by hellbient at 1:24 PM on March 14, 2005


Specklet, while we're at it, why not delete this thread while we're at it?

I wasn't calling for the deletion of the the thread. Gah! Does this clarify my intent? Eh? Eh?

As I said: I think I got it now. Chatty but deemed valuable and interesting (by teh ONE) is permittable. Asking "Who likes pancakes?" is not. So all y'all stop asking about pancakes.

I like cornmeal pancakes with real maple syrup.
posted by Specklet at 1:31 PM on March 14, 2005


Buckwheat moosebutter griddleflaps with cranberry-mango chutney! Banana buttermilk nutmeg stacks with bunny bacon! Sesame seed flour golden honeycakes with peanutty Pad Thai garnish! Hoecakes!

Damn, now I'm hungry. I am consistently my own worst punishment.
posted by loquacious at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2005


Optimus Chyme, have I ever told you that your username is my favorite? At its core, a juvenile poop/nostalgia pun. But it makes me snort every time I read a post from you.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:38 PM on March 14, 2005


And shane, I like that graphic!
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:39 PM on March 14, 2005


also: mathowie's in Texas.
posted by jessamyn at 1:45 PM on March 14, 2005


Pale pink and pancakes must have tons of butter and honey.
posted by deborah at 1:52 PM on March 14, 2005


Metafilter: Gah!

I don't like pancakes. Can we have French toast instead?
posted by goatdog at 2:00 PM on March 14, 2005


an alternate way of starting chatty subjects: Start them over on another site

AskMe gets good answers - and a much higher ratio of good answers to junk, I'm sure - than just about any other site, because of a combination of membership, non-anonymous postings, and the deterrence of risking the hammer of Matt (e.g., deletion).

Plus we're a community - sometimes a posting is twice as interesting because of who posted it.

So while I agree that there should be limits (PancakeFilter should be hosted somewhere else), it doesn't follow that a specialized site is better for questions than AskMetafilter, most of the time.

Which is why no one is suggesting to "take it to usenet", even though good answers can be found there as well.
posted by WestCoaster at 2:20 PM on March 14, 2005


This pancake stuff is really funny the 431020th time around. I'd like to see more comments regarding pancakes in these threads.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2005


I'd like to see more comments regarding pancakes in these threads.

I reckon your wish will be granted.
posted by anapestic at 2:25 PM on March 14, 2005


Oooh look, how cute! Alex is getting all holier-than-thou again!
posted by Specklet at 2:35 PM on March 14, 2005


Metafilter: I'd like to see more comments regarding pancakes in these threads.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:38 PM on March 14, 2005


do you get your rocks off on bashing mathowie?

i get my xrocksx xoffx!
posted by quonsar at 2:46 PM on March 14, 2005


I'm with Alex. More pancake jokes. They are so riotously funny. Also: if you could, like, work in something about what Soviet Russia does to you with pancakes, that would be fucking unbelievable.

Whaddya say, gang.
posted by xmutex at 2:50 PM on March 14, 2005


MetaFilter: Now celebrating one thread without a lame tagline.
posted by underer at 2:57 PM on March 14, 2005


Hitler liked pancakes.
posted by Man O' Straw at 3:14 PM on March 14, 2005


I like latkes. Who likes latkes?
posted by sciurus at 3:17 PM on March 14, 2005


Oooh look, how cute! Alex is getting all holier-than-thou again!

That statement is almost as original and clever as the pancake jokes.
posted by anapestic at 3:20 PM on March 14, 2005


Oooh look, how cute! Alex is getting all holier-than-thou again!

OH NOES! Specklet, you got me! Arghhhhh!
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:28 PM on March 14, 2005


img:trainwreck
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:34 PM on March 14, 2005


In Soviet Russia, comments regarding pancakes in metafilter threads see YOU!


/sorry
posted by mai at 3:39 PM on March 14, 2005


Boy, it's high noon at cliche ranch.
posted by xmutex at 3:40 PM on March 14, 2005


AlexReynolds' pancake-o-phobia is obviously an indication of his strong-but-closeted feelings about pancakes, and how much he lusts after their buttery goodness.
posted by loquacious at 3:40 PM on March 14, 2005




posted by dhoyt at 3:46 PM on March 14, 2005


AlexReynolds' pancake-o-phobia is obviously an indication of his strong-but-closeted feelings about pancakes, and how much he lusts after their buttery goodness.

I've made mistakes in my past. Does my past mean I can't have a future? Does it disqualify me from enjoying waffles n' maple syrup?
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:50 PM on March 14, 2005


Can we please get back to the original subject of this post? What does any of this have to do with dead horses? I, myself, don't generally beat dead horses until after they've been butchered. Then a bit of tenderizing really improves the flavor. You still have to be careful, though: Most dead horses have already been thoroughly marinated in bullshit. You work ‘em over too hard, all you get is flaccid, spongy McMeat™. And nobody wants their McMeat™ flaccid and spongy.
posted by Man O' Straw at 3:51 PM on March 14, 2005


SO , I posted the EXACT same question but more along the lines of -"how did you come to believe in god/s" last week and it was PROMPTLY deleted. I smell a double standard.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:57 PM on March 14, 2005


matt needs to pout more.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:07 PM on March 14, 2005


FEED EM TO THE LIONS>
posted by fishfucker at 4:07 PM on March 14, 2005


SO , I posted the EXACT same question but more along the lines of -"how did you come to believe in god/s" last week and it was PROMPTLY deleted. I smell a double standard.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:57 PM PST on March 14 [!]



also: mathowie's in Texas.
posted by jessamyn at 1:45 PM PST on March 14 [!]

posted by Quartermass at 4:14 PM on March 14, 2005


BrodieShadeTree: A double standard? A lack of standards? Wanton ambiguity? Total confusion? Woe!
posted by xmutex at 4:17 PM on March 14, 2005


So, if I can sum up this thread, dead horses are not ponies, pancakes are not for wafflers, when Mathowie's in a Red State the atheists come out to play and my favorite REM parody song is titled "Losing My Car Keys"...

That's me in the garage,
That's me by the Honda, I've
Lost my bleeping car keys
Trying to get my groceries out
And I know that my ice cream's melting
Oh, no, the dog's inside...

posted by wendell at 4:37 PM on March 14, 2005


Actually, ChatFilter would rock. One post per person per week.

Wendell: Beautiful. That kind of comment is why I've built a small shrine to you in my bathroom.
posted by NickDouglas at 4:56 PM on March 14, 2005


I enjoyed reading the thread, and I'm glad it was called out because I might not have seen it otherwise.

It's not chatfilter; very few posters are actually interacting with each other. It's more like anecdotefilter, and most of the anecdotefilter questions have turned out fascinating.
posted by interrobang at 4:57 PM on March 14, 2005


Good point. StoryFilter, then.
posted by NickDouglas at 5:21 PM on March 14, 2005


Metafilter does anecdotefilter very well. More anecdotefilter.
posted by caddis at 5:35 PM on March 14, 2005


it's good stuff, I loved reading it. additional evidence that here we can discuss religion well, contrary to conventional wisdom

No, it's evidence that folk here love to talk about the failings of religion and how clever they are for abandoning it. Post a thread with the question reversed and see how well that goes.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:49 PM on March 14, 2005


"how clever they are for abandoning it"

One cannot abandon something that one never embraced.
posted by mischief at 5:53 PM on March 14, 2005


How clever they are for never embracing it. I would admit we have an anti-Christian bent around here.
posted by NickDouglas at 5:55 PM on March 14, 2005


Your clever semantical distinction has invalidated my point, mischief. Wait, no it hasn't.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:56 PM on March 14, 2005


it has to be TellMe
posted by amberglow at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2005


Speaking of breaking the rules, I really wanted to post this to the question about what two active guys should do in Checko, but I refrained. Where's my prize?
posted by mono blanco at 6:33 PM on March 14, 2005


I would admit we have an anti-Christian bent around here.

I would call it more of an anti-religious zealot bent, and Born-Again Christians are often the first ones at whom our scorn is directed. I like to think we're equal-opportunity critics who don't care if it's the Koran, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or the King James Bible--you go waving your holy book in our faces, we're going to laugh at you.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:44 PM on March 14, 2005


aren't you precious, then.
posted by quonsar at 7:02 PM on March 14, 2005


/me puts the lotion in the basket
posted by fandango_matt at 7:10 PM on March 14, 2005


Oh it was totally chatfilter and I hate chatfilter but I posted in the thread and read every answer with great interest.

A foolish consistency and hobgoblins and all that....

Plus, Decani's comment was easily one of the best things I've read here in ages.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:16 PM on March 14, 2005


I like the thread, but I have enjoyed most of the chatty questions. I tend to find AskMe a bigger draw than Metafilter, as 1) I love the challenge to answer, 2) I learn lots of useful things 3) It is usually divorced from politics. As said above, MeFi is a community, and that helps make things more interesting.

Pancakes: my specialty. Have griddle, will bake! No fake 'maple' syrup allowed.
posted by Goofyy at 8:48 PM on March 14, 2005


Goofyy: I agree, AskMe seems quite civil, especially with MeTa funnelling away the snark. But it's also the most heavily posted, and the best way to split the traffic and prevent overload would be to pull the vaguer queries into a TellMe (good call Amber).
posted by NickDouglas at 9:49 PM on March 14, 2005


I don't like pancakes. Can we have French toast instead?

AHEM. I believe the site you're looking for is right here.
posted by scarabic at 10:57 PM on March 14, 2005


I personally don't mind the occasional chat-like open-ended question

"Is atheism good" would be an open-ended question. "When did you lose your faith" is not open-ended in the least. It is very specific and massively answerable. It might be conversational, but certainly not chat-like (it's pretty heavy). This blows on the other hand.
posted by nthdegx at 4:10 AM on March 15, 2005


This blows on the other hand.

It's a lousy question, but the instant snark and derail that followed is far worse. People who want a light hand should maybe refrain from misbehaving the moment the hand's off in Texas.
posted by anapestic at 5:28 AM on March 15, 2005


"When did you lose your faith" is not open-ended in the least.

It's open-ended in the sense of being a survey kind of question, not focused on an explicit goal beyond gathering people's experiences. There are a few kinds of conversational, rather than advice-oriented, questions that pop up in AskMe: this is of the learning-more-about-my-fellow-Mefites variety, subspecies dorm hall.

I like interrobang's characterization of these threads as being about anecdotes, though I don't agree that this makes them particularly great for AskMe. Fishfucker is so right in saying that chatfilter (or whatever you want to call it) posts go over well because people like answering questions, and "questions that ask for opinions or anecdotes means everyone gets to answer!" Or, to put it less nicely, people love to talk about themselves.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:32 AM on March 15, 2005


See, this is why I won't ever dare attempt a FPP anywhere on this site (unless I'm drunk enough to really make a mess of it). Because I'd expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition.

I find chat/anecdote/personal experience threads irresistible, too. Bottom line seems to be that maybe the "rules" got stretched a bit here, but the result, I think most would agree, is a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read.
posted by Decani at 6:54 AM on March 15, 2005


Krrrlson said:No, it's evidence that folk here love to talk about the failings of religion and how clever they are for abandoning it. Post a thread with the question reversed and see how well that goes.

Well, BrodieShadeTree said he "posted the EXACT same question but more along the lines of -"how did you come to believe in god/s" last week and it was PROMPTLY deleted.

So we didn't get a chance to see how that thread would have panned out. It's also worth repeating - the only user able to delete threads is busy at a conference, and so possibly less able to keep on top of the traffic here.
posted by raedyn at 7:05 AM on March 15, 2005


This sort of AskMe thread is good for the community, not because it is chatty, but rather because it allows members to open up a bit about themselves. That helps let everyone know a bit more about the others and builds stronger bonds. Ultimately I think it can reduce tension in other threads as you are far less likely to toss an insult at someone you feel connected to in some fashion than at a random stranger. Or, perhaps not.
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on March 15, 2005


Because I'd expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition.

NO ONE EXPECTS THE...damn.
posted by NickDouglas at 8:07 AM on March 15, 2005


Well, BrodieShadeTree said he "posted the EXACT same question but more along the lines of -"how did you come to believe in god/s" last week and it was PROMPTLY deleted

The devil is often in the details. It would be helpful to see the EXACT WORDING of the deleted question before coming to any conclusions. There are plenty of reasons to delete a question.
posted by WestCoaster at 9:43 AM on March 15, 2005


I think his question was worded something like "Why God why?" with a more inside.
posted by anapestic at 9:58 AM on March 15, 2005


Take another look at that thread! 142 comments, no snark, no derail. 1 instance of doctrinal debate, 1 poetic attempt at conversion. The good faith (pun) of those commenting and the restraint of those abstaining (sorry, another pun) shows the community at it's best. Threads like this are the reason chatfilter alone is not sufficient reason for deletion.

On preview: it's not so much about the question as it is the answers.
posted by klarck at 10:26 AM on March 15, 2005


Seeing as how much everyone enjoyed the thread, perhaps BrodieShadeTree should re-post his antipode. If Matt deletes it again, he'd have to axe the atheist thread... and I don't think he'll do that.

He should, however get rid of the Star Wars thread. Oy.
posted by Specklet at 10:43 AM on March 15, 2005


I like to think we're equal-opportunity critics who don't care if it's the Koran, the Torah, the Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or the King James Bible--you go waving your holy book in our faces, we're going to laugh at you.

You think so, do you? I propose we watch this pile-on thread and see if the mention of a Native American God receives as much scorn as would mention of a Christian God.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:10 AM on March 15, 2005


You think so, do you? I propose we watch this pile-on thread and see if the mention of a Native American God receives as much scorn as would mention of a Christian God.

The discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God. Also, the poster said nothing about a "Christian God."
posted by anapestic at 11:17 AM on March 15, 2005


The discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God.

Precisely my point.

Also, the poster said nothing about a "Christian God."

Again, this is exactly what I'm pointing out.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:25 AM on March 15, 2005


Ah, okay. You're proposing we watch and see if the mention of a Native American God receives as much scorn as would mention of a Christian God, even though you agree the discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God, and the poster said nothing about a "Christian God." Gotcha.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:30 AM on March 15, 2005


I am proposing that the discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God because the God mentioned is not a Christian God.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:41 AM on March 15, 2005


And how are you certain the God mentioned is not a Christian God?
posted by fandango_matt at 11:50 AM on March 15, 2005


You're right; I worded that sloppily. I should have said, I am proposing that the discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God because the poster said nothing about a Christian God.

Does it make you happy to have found a factual inaccuracy in my statement which does not at all invalidate the point I was making?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:57 AM on March 15, 2005


I am proposing that the discussion/derail in that thread has very little to do with the mention of God because the poster said nothing about a Christian God.

Again, I ask: how are you certain the God mentioned is not a Christian God?

Does it make you happy to have found a factual inaccuracy in my statement which does not at all invalidate the point I was making?

It wasn't a "factual inaccuracy"; it was a poorly-considered leap of logic that I found in your statement. And yes, I was very happy to have found it, because it further underscores the inanity of your point, whatever you think it may be.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2005



posted by breezeway at 12:23 PM on March 15, 2005


Breezeway, do you work for the Parks Service or something? You seem to have a lot of cool nature photography and you don't mind sharing it. I likes your style.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2005


Uh, I think I missed something. I'm confused. So there's a Native American god? Which god is that? Didn't each tribe (originally) have its own set of spiritual beliefs? Aren't we talking about organized religion that is (equally across the board) scorned, and not a varied culture's varied spiritual beliefs? Or am I a victim of semantics?


Think I asked enough questions in this post?
posted by Specklet at 1:05 PM on March 15, 2005


Think I asked enough questions in this post?

Can you take it to AskMe, please?
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:13 PM on March 15, 2005


DevilsAdvocate, the point you seem to be making (upon clarification) is that if someone made a point about including a reference to a specifically Christian god in a thread that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, then there'd be a big stink about it here.

Well, duh.

Native American gods are not exactly commonly known, but I think if someone through a reference about Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard or Mary Baker Eddy or the Buddha into a thread where it was fully irrelevant to the subject, you'd get an equal amount of confused questioning.

It may well be that people on MetaFilter have more hostility towards Christianity than towards, say, pagan religions, but the example you chose is not a particularly good way to demonstrate that bias, if it exists.
posted by anapestic at 1:15 PM on March 15, 2005


And by "through," I mean "threw," of course. Unless I mean "tossed" or "inserted."
posted by anapestic at 1:16 PM on March 15, 2005


Alex, sometimes when the cats get my tongue, they take the words out of my mouth along with.

This particular fellow seems to have found his level of discourse and is poised to jump right in.

No, if I worked for the Park Service, I'd be forced to use an incorrect, "if"-less subjunctive past perfect in place of all other past tenses or moods. You know, like:

"The Liberty Bell would have been cast in 1753..." or
"Teedy Roosevelt would have been 24 years old when he shot his first bison."

I swear, that's how they talk.
posted by breezeway at 1:54 PM on March 15, 2005


Did I say, "Teedy?"
posted by breezeway at 1:59 PM on March 15, 2005


I believe you did.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:10 PM on March 15, 2005


fwiw, the question i asked was along the lines of

"Why God, why? mi: Without trying to create a chatfilter, why or when did you come to believe in god/gods? I would like to read stories or anecdotes of why you chose to beleive the way you do. (it might be best to leave out stories of un-belief for a different post) . "

along those lines pretty much .
coincidence?
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 2:34 PM on March 15, 2005


I think God is actually going to be a character introduced later in the series rather than an abstract. Perhaps God is leading the Cylons as they evolve and fulfilling the prophecies is the intent of God. The Cylons are his tool. Why he wants the prophecies fulfilled however, is another question entirely.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:44 PM on March 15, 2005


"Why God, why? mi: Without trying to create a chatfilter, why or when did you come to believe in god/gods? I would like to read stories or anecdotes of why you chose to beleive the way you do. (it might be best to leave out stories of un-belief for a different post) . "

Question for mathowie:

All right, assuming that BrodieShadeTree's question was somehow inappropriately phrased, can I post a "when/how did you find your faith?" question provided I frame it exactly the same way as the atheism question? I'd like to hear those stories as well.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:39 PM on March 15, 2005


A good AskMe question is one the asker actually *cares* about. Specific problems make good questions because the answers *matter* in an immediate way to the person who bothered to ask. Some of the best answers to those questions involve personal anecdotes, so the presence or absence of anecdotal answers isn't the issue here at all.

But chatfilter questions the poster feels casually about seem to me to take a stinky dump on the direct usefulness of AskMe. They may produce interesting discussions, but there's a clear sense in which "Well, this has no direct relevance to my life, but I was just wondering [x]" will always be a kind of spanner in the works.

To me, anyway.
posted by mediareport at 10:32 PM on March 15, 2005


A good AskMe question is one the asker actually *cares* about. Specific problems make good questions because the answers *matter* in an immediate way to the person who bothered to ask. Some of the best answers to those questions involve personal anecdotes, so the presence or absence of anecdotal answers isn't the issue here at all.

But chatfilter questions the poster feels casually about seem to me to take a stinky dump on the direct usefulness of AskMe. They may produce interesting discussions, but there's a clear sense in which "Well, this has no direct relevance to my life, but I was just wondering [x]" will always be a kind of spanner in the works.


I agree with this and would add that it's useful, in cases where it might not be evident how or why or whether a question matters in an immediate way to the poster, to make a point of explicitly saying so. I feel like it helps the thread and helps AskMe.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:28 AM on March 16, 2005


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