Suggestion: Remove Witnessing as Defaulted GD

Well, tomndeb* said I should feel free to bring up the recommendation here so, here I go:

Simply, I think that the Debates forum should be reserved for debates. If someone feels the need to share their religious epiphany with everyone, but doesn’t want to have it be a big war, they should have a place for that (MPSIMS perhaps.) And similarly, if I want to engage in a debate, I should be able to go to GD and know that anything there is looking for cited/considered and pointed opinions. Simply reserving it as the place for fights makes it just be the Pit, but without profanity.

And similarly, while I can see that it appears good to say that anything particularly flammable should just be nipped in the bud and shoved over to GD or the Pit, I’m not really sure how one is actually “nipping it in the bud” by doing that. If a thread is going to become beflamed, then it just is. Having it sit in the wrong forum for an extra half hour doesn’t really hurt anything. If a Witnessing thread is probably to become a target of attack, it doesn’t really hurt to wait until it does start being attacked to move it.

And of course, per tomndebs appraisal, we’re all kind, friendly people who don’t make problems now so…

Oh, and can we get pizza in the cafeteria? :wink:

  • Whose name I think I just parsed for the first time… Tom n’ Deb? He’s two people! :eek: No wonder I lose.

I seem to recall from a similar question that the mods don’t usually wait for a thread to become flammable because they’re not always avaliable to see it/move it/close it, and it’s better to move it before the flames start to fly than to have to leave it to sometime after when posters may already be at each other’s throats.

Obviously IANAM, though.

Yes and no. He and his wife got their AOL account jointly, and he was one of the old-timers back when the board was on AOL, so that was the name he used. When we moved to our own server, he kept the same name, even though Deb isn’t a doper.

At least, that’s the way I heard it.

Tom sits in a rocking chair in the corner; Deb types for him. When asked how he is, she stammers, “Uh-uh, Tom-t-Tom, uh, what is the phrase? He isn’t quite himself today.”

I concur with the OP. I know some dopers avoid GD and the Pit. I know some tend not to visit GQ since they feel the odds that they can help are kinda low. If the current forum divisions have served to divide dopers up then perhaps we need to work on that instead. After all we really just evolved into the current situation it was never planned this way. While a rethink might be messy it may be nicer in the long term.

ATMB, CoCC and CoSR are all very specific. The Pit is pretty straightforward too. But the rest are very wishy-washy. Perhaps just making them simply Questions, Debates, Entertainment, Polls and Observations. And the mods would try and keep the thread within the bounds of the forum and not worry so much about the grandiosity of the topic.

Yet I can certainly see why it’s nice to have a place like GD as it is now. Would that forum lose the highly detailed debates if it was opened to all debates? I enjoy how it’s like an opinion column in a newspaper and good for following recent topics.

I will say I think there’s too much worrying about … complimentary threads. A thread about changing beliefs can be very different and serve different purposes in GD and IMHO at the same time. One is for speaking out and the other is for listening. It seems like it would also help keep people from thread piracy.

I oppose. Witnessing is a Great Debate, the greatest and most critical there is.
Further, if the stricture is removed, then it shall flow, and overflow, and fill each forum without release, for that is part of why the rule exists.
Finally, witnessing belongs in Great Debates so that it may be defended, that unsupported ascertations may be nullified, and the call of ‘cite’ shall destroy the lies.

We are here to fight ignorance, not spread it. Nor is all witnessing ignorance… but a surprisingly high percentage is.

Fight some ignorance for me, what are you referring to when you talk about “witnessing” here?

Religious proclamations

Erm… can you give an example?

I think “religious proclamations” and I’m thinking of the 95 Theses getting posted on the door here.

“There is no God but God and Mohammad is his prophet” is a good example.

I also disagree with removing witnessing from Great Debates. It being put there means you don’t have to suffer it elsewhere, such as in MPSIMS where you can’t exactly get all guns blazing, if you know what I mean.

Why should witnessing be immune from debate? Fighting Ignorance[sup]®[/sup] is hard enough without tying both hands behind my back.

Firstly, “Witnessing” is apparently people coming in to go “I was spoken to by JESUS on this day, and I must now share his message with you!” As I understand it.

Not really. If the person felt that there was anything to be debated, he would put it in GD. Otherwise he just wants to preach.

Now, just because as non-witnesses it might be fun to tear the guy a new asshole–and otherwise point and laugh at him–still doesn’t mean that he should be required to report to duty in GD first thing on Monday just for the pleasure of receiving his new pucker.

Mundane Pointless Stuff doesn’t require factuallity. I’ve seen homeopathic recipes lauded in there without anyone raising objection, which is largely in the same field. And if it does turn into a debate–well then you move it. It’s not like the witnesser was going to actually post in GD to begin with.

A persons recounting of his own experiences is factual information. Would you say that someone relating what they saw when they were on LSD must be required to go to GD?

How you choose to interpret what that person witnessed is up to you. If you want to debate you interpretation, no one is stopping you. Generally it would be more polite to invite the witnesser over to GD to debate it and leave the original thread to stand as a factual MPSIMS recounting of what the person felt he witnessed. But if you want to turn it into a flame fest, certainly. But it until the thread actually contains debate or at least has a hint of a desire on the part of the OP for such, why would it be in the Debate forum?

No it isn’t. Facts can be checked; religious experiences must be accepted on faith alone. How do I know the OP actually had the experience he is relating, and is not a charlatan seeking to mislead others?

If the OP was insisting that the experience was anything other than a hallucination, I would. Anyone who represents personal experience with the supernatural as fact should be prepared to defend his claims.

If witnessing is left in MPSIMS or other fora outside of GD, there is an implicit rule that debate should be restrained. I see no advantage to the SDMB in creating a protected refuge for anyone to make religious claims without fear of having to support them. That would simply invite abuse.

Why must any skepticism of religion be immediately branded a “flame fest”? If someone makes unsubstantiated claims about the supernatural, why would they have any expectation that it would not be challenged?

Because religion, like politics, is de facto debate fodder. Those who make extraordinary claims must provide extraordinary proof.

Things that I would have considered “extraordinary” when I was thirty make much sense to me now. Who gets to decide whose perceptions are extraordinary?

Anyone reading an OP, of course.

Note: A personal experience with God is one thing. But a claim that “Even Darwin repented and turned to God and rejected Evolution on his deathbed” is GD fodder. We’ve gotten that one, IIRC.

I don’t know, I’d probably shuffle it over to GQ. Unless it is uncertain whether Darwin rejected evolution?

It may seem counterintuitive to you, but the current set up is what makes sense to us.

If a religious belief can’t stand up to questioning, than it’s either based on credulity (which I think some are), or the person lacks faith in their position. While I admit I get tired of seeing the same arguments over and over and over again from various viewpoints, debating religion is going to stay in GD. How can it not?

Now just for fun, imagine this MPSIMS conversation:

Poster A: “My God is an awesome God!”

Poster B: “There is no god.”

Poster A: “Yes there is! I have modal ontological proof.”

Poster B: “I would like to see this ‘proof’ so I can comment on it.”

Skippy the Pinhead: “Too deep for MPSIMS! Moving it to GD.”