NDE thread - devil's (God's) advocate (heh)

Currently pending in GD is a thread on near death experiences. Late on page three, mishagoe posted, “There is no evidence for the existence of souls. It follows that you have no soul. So enjoy your souless existence and leave the souls to those who have them. Fair enough?” Marley23 gave this a modding note, “This is more of a personal insult than an argument. Save this kind of stuff for the Pit.” Further conversation ensued, moving into page four, in which mishagoe made statements more reasonably described as insulting, resulting in a 24 hour suspension.

My problem is this. No doubt the later remarks warrant the suspension. But, ISTM the whole situation was precipitated by this overly stern ruling by Marley23. If NDEs are a legitmate subject of debate, it necessarily follows that those who believe in them - and the implicit belief in souls - have a right to be heard. They should not be shut down by mods or forced to accept only skeptical rules of epistomology. And I say this as a skeptic who follows those very rules in my own thinking and thinks souls don’t exist. But, I have no use for an SDMB which is an echo chamber for my beliefs and of those who agree with me. This board is only interesting if other voices can be heard. And even encouraged.

I got this one, guys. This is an easy one. He wasn’t shut down for talking about souls. He was admonished because, as someone once said: “This is more of a personal insult than an argument.” People are free to discuss the existence or non-existence of souls as long as they’re not insulting each other.

I think the argument could be made that the original comment wasn’t really an insult, it was more a comment along the lines of

“if you don’t believe in a soul, then enjoy going around believing you don’t have a soul, and let those who believe in a soul go around believing they have a soul”.

One could also point out that Marley made it a note and not a formal warning, and the note is on the grounds that the comment leans a bit more toward a personal remark than a request to let people believe what they want.

But either way, I agree that note is not intended to stifle either believers or unbelievers.

I think the problem is that the final statement was the culmination in that thread of having called someone a “nasty old goat”, saying “Go away, your breath stinks. I woud [sic] use four letter words and I will if you bother me again” and “massive generic ass”, resulting in two warnings, then continuing to ignore moderator requests. The final straw was barely a straw.

mishagoe was taking a potshot at Czarcasm by calling him soulless. That’s what I was moderating- not his position on NDEs. mishagoe seems to have understood that just fine: his later posts made it even clearer that he was insulting Czarcasm on purpose.

I might buy that . . . if mishagoe hadn’t posted perfectly reasonably, in detail, twelve times between the “overly stern ruling” (which in no way overly stern) and his snapping at Czar.

I don’t see how Marley’s mod note in any way precipitated mishagoe’s (much) later posts.
Later on, I think mishagoe was (deliberately or not) not grokking the difference between “insulting someone” and “being insulting toward someone.”

Czar was being insulting. Or at least disparaging. Which was totally fine and IMO justified. (And some of the other posters didn’t exactly raise the level of civility.)

mishagoe responded to the perceived insult by directly insulting Czar, which is a no-no. He was warned about it. He either didn’t understand the distinction that was being drawn or chose not to. Simple as that.

How odd that someone would be a member since 2004, post only about 150 times, and then suddenly decide to jump into a thread with all guns blazing.

mishagoe is apparently a longtime lurker, but he’s been posting regularly since the beginning of this year on topics like that one.

andros, on review, I take your point. Mishagoe didn’t go off the rails until Post #186, whereas the modding note (not a warning) was back at Post #149. Maybe I perceived a connection only because I read the thread all at a go. And, as I said in the OP, I don’t have any problem with Marley23’s response after Mishagoe went off the rails.

That said, my main point stands. I have for several years been concerned about how believers are treated here. I opened this thread in the hope there were others who felt the same way. Apparently there aren’t, or at least they’re not responding to the thread. The upshot being that I conclude this isn’t the board for me. I doubt I will be missed.

Huh? I don’t want to speak for **Czarcasm **but last I heard **Czarcasm **was an atheist, materialist and skeptic and would be first to agree that he is soulless and wouldn’t see this as in the slightest bit insulting.

Speaking as an atheist who accepts that souls are impossible and do not exist, I wouldn’t consider it an insult. However, Mishagoe presumably intended it as an insult, and a mod note suggesting he tone it back isn’t inappropriate there.

The post says Czarcasm is soulless and other people are not: “…you have no soul. So enjoy your souless existence and leave the souls to those who have them.” It doesn’t make a lot of sense as a comment on the issue of souls, and I think it was pretty clearly written as a dig at Czarcasm. And I think mishagoe’s subsequent behavior makes it that much more obvious that that was his intent.

It doesn’t matter if Czarcasm saw it as insult, it matters that it was intended as one.

All shoes go to Heaven as they have soles.
(Stolen from Red Dwarf).

Hey Marley, my last post on the SDMB I promise.

I think you took a logical statement I made and blew it all out of proportion.

Let me break it down so you can see:

  1. If you don’t believe there is evidence for souls, or at least are only willing to believe in things for which there is in your estimation valid evidence then it follows
  2. You can’t believe in souls, because we all do agree there is no evidence of the kind you and Czarcasm would buy into, therefore it follows
  3. You have no souls, therefore it follows,
  4. Your existence is without a soul, or soulless.

I don’t get why this is a dig or a jab or an insult to Czarcasm. If you think having a soulless existence is a bad thing, then say so. I wasn’t trying to insult anyone, I was only pointing out a conclusion that Czarcasm would have to conclude as well. I don’t see how someone who argues very strongly against any kind of religious or sprititual belief would find not having a soul insulting.

As I asked you in my email to you, please uregister me from the SDMB or have some sent me an email explaining how I can do that myself. I looked but can’t figure out how it’s done.

The SDMB is definitely biased against any kind of discussion of religious or spiritual topics. I’ve tried several times and the inevitable pile on ensues. Few people are willing to take the topic on seriously. Sooner or later Czarcasm will jump in with “where is the evidence” and that pretty much ends the discussion. I resent that and I resent the fact that you allow that to happen time and time again. I’m going now in search of a forum or board where people are not afraid to have a serious discussion about souls and related topics. In your spare time you might wander over to Science 2.0, populated by some pretty hard core physicist and enjoy topics on how what we believe may influence what happens in the world. How a board full of physicists can manage to discuss a topic like that without the kind of hit and run crap Czarcasm dishes up is something you have yet to manage to pull off on the SDMB.


I explained upthread why I felt your comment was insulting: you said Czarcasm in particular is soulless and other people (who believe in souls) are not.

There is no unregistering process. If you want to stop posting, stop posting.

Crap, Marley, that sucks

So, if you don’t believe you have soul, then you would describe yourself as someone how does not have a soul? Wouldn’t you?

I don’t believe in souls, and I’m not going to argue about it in this thread. However I’m interested to know what you believe “last” means. :wink:

Except, as you well know, he’d also describe you as someone who doesn’t have a soul. As well as everybody else on the planet. You’re also most likely not really ignorant of the pejorative connotation (and denotation) of “soulless.”

Give it up. It’s obvious that you were trying to insult Czarcasm. You didn’t say “Okay, you think you don’t have a soul. Let those of us who think we do have our fun”, or what have you. You accused him of being soulless. And you got caught.

I made a comment above that there is grounds to make this interpretation of your remarks. However, I would point out that your phrasing seems calculated to be a dig at Czarcasm about his beliefs rather than merely a call to allow believers room for their own beliefs. And as I also noted above, Marley only gave you a Moderator Note to consider your tone, not an official Warning for that, so it’s not like you got heavy-handed treatment. You took a poke under the guise of calling for fairness, and you got called on it in the mildest way. None of which has any bearing on your beliefs in souls or NDEs or anything.

There is no process to unregister. If you don’t wish to post here, then don’t post here. If you don’t wish to read here, then don’t read here. If you forget your password, it will help keep you from posting here.

You could also take the creative approach of violating board rules in a deliberate and extreme manner to get yourself banned. That won’t make your account or username or previous posts go away, just give the moderators incentive to make sure you can never come back. Of course, I think that’s a pretty pathetic thing to do. I mean, if you don’t like it here, how hard is it not to log in? Delete your bookmarks if you have any and stop visiting the site.