Ulc Forum: Members, Friends, Or Customers?


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It seems there has been a shift in the way members relate to each other on the forum:

That was then:

"That's an interesting take on it... personally I see it this way...."

This is now:

You're WRONG.

Our memories of the past seem to differ in important ways. My first lengthy post on this forum (well, technically, it was the forum that led to this forum) was about the need to be willing to let others tell you that you are wrong. I firmly believe that single character trait is absolutely necessary to allow others religious freedom. I also firmly believe that anyone who is not willing to allow others religious freedom is not ready for the ULC.
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There is a difference between "you're wrong and here's why I think so..." and "You're WRONG."

The first is creating a discussion. Personally, I don't like calling people wrong on things that are not provable. If I said two plus two equalled five, then it would not be offensive to be called wrong, because we have plenty of evidence that the correct answer is four. When it comes to matters of my faith and beliefs, it is a different thing. I am not WRONG in what I believe, but I may be DIFFERENT in what I believe, and that difference may be completely in opposition to your belief and views.

I would be more than happy to learn how your beliefs differ from mine, and if you wanted to go into detail and felt willing to go into discourse and discussion, great. Maybe there is something in what you share that I had not considered. Maybe it will enlighten me or even change the way I look at my own beliefs. Maybe not. Either way, I will learn something about your take on the matter, and that is good. It is also not dismissive. It is hurtful to have someone slam your values, especially when there is no effort to explain why one does not agree with them.

Even if I can't put it into words why I may not agree with someone's ideas, I would be loathe to call them wrong. I don't have to embrace someone's path, but I don't need to ridicule it either. The reason I chose to be ordained by the ULC rather than another denomination is that we are NOT told what to think, or how to think it. We are free to discover our own truth and follow our path as we feel we are called (or even follow no path if we do not feel called). Each of us is unique and has a gift. I truly believe we are not meant to be photocopies of one another, but to have our individual signatures. Nothing in nature is exactly alike - fingerprints, snowflakes and more. It follows then that each person in creation should have a path that is unique to him or to her. There can be a multitude of similarities, but there will likely be difference as well, and we should celebrate that we are free to be different, as long as we are not trying to inflict harm onto others.

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I am not WRONG in what I believe, but I may be DIFFERENT in what I believe, and that difference may be completely in opposition to your belief and views.
The question at hand is not really whether or not you are wrong, but whether or not you are willing to allow others to tell you that you are wrong. Because there are others who believe that you are wrong. Not only that, there are people for whom belief that you (and others) are wrong is a central tenet of their faith. So are you willing to let them tell you what they believe? Are you willing to be told that you are wrong, even when you don't think it is possible that you are? That, to me, is the central issue of religious freedom.
There can be a multitude of similarities, but there will likely be difference as well, and we should celebrate that we are free to be different, as long as we are not trying to inflict harm onto others.
I agree completely.
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Are you willing to be told that you are wrong, even when you don't think it is possible that you are? That, to me, is the central issue of religious freedom.

It depends on what I am being called wrong on. If I say Genesis 1:1 reads..." and I do not quote it correctly, then yes, I AM wrong. If I state what my beliefs are, it would be dismissive and rude of someone to call that wrong. There is a difference between one's beliefs and values and what one considers fact. When the latter is proven wrong, then maybe the former will change, but I would not resent being fact-checked, or told why someone's values differ from mine in a respectful way.

There is nothing wrong with sharing opposing views respectfully. The problem seems to be that there has been a lot less respectfully and a lot more of a need to be "right" or "the winner."

For seven years, Enlightened Souls Ministries was on the internet. A majority of those years, Hrodebert was the webmaster and he remains to this day the first Prior of the ministry. Our views on religious matters are about as divergent as they can be: mine leans toward the trinity as taught in most Christian denominations, his is more polytheistic. I don't see it as my personal mission to prove him wrong, nor does he seek to change me. What we do come together on is that we see a lot of truth in each other's path - and moreso that we are both called to the path that is meant for us. We have a mutual respect for each other and each other's path.

I am often asked how I can embrace a brother who does not worship exactly as I do, and how I can call him a brother when I can not dictate his path. That is respect, folks. I am happy to discuss my path with Hrodebert and others, and we have had wonderful discussions that have left us both a lot better informed. I am better off for the growth that comes and has come from his sharing. No, I will not be following his path, nor he mine, but I consider him a great scholar, a mentor, a proceless friend, my brother, and am proud to call him a Prior.

When that answer doesn't work for others, I have to resort to "It works for us."

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It depends on what I am being called wrong on.
Why?
There is a difference between one's beliefs and values and what one considers fact.
Many people disagree with you about that.
There is nothing wrong with sharing opposing views respectfully. The problem seems to be that there has been a lot less respectfully and a lot more of a need to be "right" or "the winner."
What I have noticed is mostly basic disagreement over what constitutes "respectfully" leading to simple personality conflicts. As for the need to be right- Well, isn't that what causes people to react negatively to being told they are wrong?
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I'm not sure when then was br. devon but I see (and have seen) plenty of old and new members continue to respond respectfully while agreeing to disagree over the last few years. I've also seen them lose their cool at times. do these times you refer to reflect a time when everyone was more respectful or when everyone was more like minded?

I'm not here to make friends, but I've made a few :), I'm also not here to make enemies, I've made a few of those too - I am here to view a microcosm of the planet through this forum and to consider and participate in discussions around spirituality, current events and sometimes dogs.

disagreement is fine, disagreement is expected - for example, there is PLENTY that happy and I disagree on (hello happy) but perhaps much we agree on, okay, not politically, but otherwise - we both appreciate good food and hard work to mention just two. it's like he and songster say, could say what could be construed as dreadful things in response to a post that I make and I would feel no insult, because I believe no insult is intended, others, not so much

conversational style could be the culprit and at the root of some disagreements here, but I'm kind of a mind to say if you feel insulted, you've probably been insulted; perhaps not in the way that you think but insulted (dismissed, over-rided or diminished publically) nontheless. there will always be those who need to be right, who will suggest a better question than one you may have presented, to point out the flaws in another's thinking and/or spread their message of love or hate, have at it

then there is the elephant in the room

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then there is the elephant in the room

And what elephant is that?

but I'm kind of a mind to say if you feel insulted, you've probably been insulted; perhaps not in the way that you think but insulted (dismissed, over-rided or diminished publically) nontheless

I would be remise if I didnt say, now to me, that kind of mindset is one that sets oneself to feel insulted when none is intended or actually done. People tend to put their own emotional inflection on others post. For better or worse, that does change the context of the post. To combat this, I read all posts with the voice of Ben Stein (Bueller, Bueller, anyone, anyone Bueller). Removing the emotion from your mental voice, tend to remove any perceived insult as well.

For better or worse, people are emotional and tend to assign emotions to thing without really knowing the actual intent and that is the root of many perceived insults. If when you remove your own emotional interpretation of the words and there still is an insult only then is it likely REALLY an insult.

This whole thing reminds me of the concept of “XYZ made me mad”. Other people cannot really make you mad, angry, hurt, etc. Only YOU can LET someone “make” you feel those emotions based on your own desires, bias, and icebergs.

Edited by Dorian Gray
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And what elephant is that?

I would be remise if I didnt say, now to me, that kind of mindset is one that sets oneself to feel insulted when none is intended or actually done. People tend to put their own emotional inflection on others post. For better or worse, that does change the context of the post. To combat this, I read all posts with the voice of Ben Stein (Bueller, Bueller, anyone, anyone Bueller). Removing the emotion from your mental voice, tend to remove any perceived insult as well.

For better or worse, people are emotional and tend to assign emotions to thing without really knowing the actual intent and that is the root of many perceived insults. If when you remove your own emotional interpretation of the words and there still is an insult only then is it likely REALLY an insult.

This whole thing reminds me of the concept of “XYZ made me mad”. Other people cannot really make you mad, angry, hurt, etc. Only YOU can LET someone “make” you feel those emotions based on your own desires, bias, and icebergs.

the elephant in the room

can we agree that sometimes it is not hyper sensitivity but an acknowledgement that one may have actually been demeaned? come on. not proud of it but I can think of one member who I seldom respond to because simply, no good would come of it. I have been rude and confrontational with him, and it was because I let my opinion of him and what I assumed/surmised , based on his writings, he stands for get in the way of the point being made.

it's clear, outside of the "mutual admiration societies" here, that there are certain members who grind other members gears. the responses reflect that is all. this isn't about parsing commentary looking for insult, it is insult staring you in the face. there is over sensitivity, which I think you are speaking to, and then there is simply calling a spade a spade - after applying the ben stein tactic that is

there are members here who I really like, we may not bond over political or topical issues, we may disagree completely on religion or philosophy but there is something about them, maybe their humor, maybe their intelligence, maybe their altruism or kindness, maybe their work ethic and honesty, maybe their ability to beat a dead horse but there is something. the something is understanding and an underlying respectfulness.

when I post here, I don't need or expect people to agree with me. I enjoy when someone asks for clarification, even those that do so in ways that may appear snarky, I learn from that. I'm not talking about myself, while I may have a bit of a knee jerk reaction I have pretty thick skin, it's all good.

(acknowledging that I may be dead wrong, as the point I was reacting to - based on my own personal biases, desires and icebergs - is not at all the point the you were trying to make)

Edited by grateful
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can we agree that sometimes it is not hyper sensitivity but an acknowledgement that one may have actually been demeaned? come on.
Can anyone think of somewhere on the web that has as much activity as this forum, but does not have not as much (or more) of that sort of activity? I can't think of one, which is a lot of why I frequent this board as much as I do. If you do know of some, a comparison of how moderators work there versus here might be beneficial.
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Another thing that might be worth mentioning....

a. Let's not forget the purpose of this forum. It is for discussion of things of concern or import to ULC members or affiliates. Yes, we have a general forum; yes, we have a chit-chat forum. We added those sections for the few posts that were not really related to the purpose of this forum could be posted, out of the way.

b. If you want to chitchat, please do, but keep it to a reasonable level. Consider alternate ways for talking in small groups. People list their contact info. If it's mutually agreed, you may chat that way. You can arrange times to meet in the chat room. This board has a Personal Messenger (PM) function - small groups can send each other PMs.

The forum sections dedicated to "discussion of things of concern or import to ULC members or affiliates" seem to currently be outnumbered by the forum sections dedicated to "the few posts that were not really related to the purpose of this forum". Is this just a case where policy hasn't caught up with a change in philosophy? Or did it sort of happen without anyone realizing that it happened?

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Another thing that might be worth mentioning....

The forum sections dedicated to "discussion of things of concern or import to ULC members or affiliates" seem to currently be outnumbered by the forum sections dedicated to "the few posts that were not really related to the purpose of this forum". Is this just a case where policy hasn't caught up with a change in philosophy? Or did it sort of happen without anyone realizing that it happened?

In the free market of ideas, the most popular get the market share. I always enjoy assuming that management adopted this Laissez-faire philosophy to see where the people wanted to go.

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~ Sorry... I'm quite a guilty one there.

I do enjoy discussions & learning from others.

I truly dislike horrid disagreements & arguments.

I've found that just in chats I learn a different angle to another's beliefs that they don't or can't share when feeling on the defensive in a debate.

Conversations do not & should not charge along in a debate mode... Life would be just really unpleasant that way, y'know?

Perhaps simply at this point in time this is how it is?

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