The Pit is awesome - it's those Great Debates that suck!

I’ve seen many people post to the effect that they were afraid of the Pit, they’d heard it was treacherous. Newbies beware, etc. Well, people do get hot & bothered, but it doesn’t seem impossible to reach a consensus - at least that’s an outcome I’ve often seen.

But those Great Debates? Balls 'o fire!!!

I’m really trying to understand what people are telling me, and I agree that their view is part of the picture - I agree, I agree, they’re right in many ways - but they want the whole pie. It’s either entirely their way or nothing. Never mind the millions of people who believe differently - nope, somehow they’ve got it all figured out. End of story.

If I’d started my SDMB journey there I don’t think I’d’ve bothered to explore further. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned - including learning from my own mistakes there - but the lack of progress in understanding is discouraging.

I concur.

I only go near GD if I’m feeling profound, and I agonize over every post I contribute, getting the wording right, etc.

GD is a tough crowd. I tend to leave my sense of humor at the door.

Unfortuneately, many posters in Great Debates give in to the natural desperation to never admit they are wrong. Some don’t and actually examine things from a new angle and occasionally have a change of mind on an issue. Not common, but people are stubborn sons of bitches…

Can I get a link here? Who do I have to blow in this cockroach molesting place to get a link? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey! I tried to put a smilie on that. How odd.

Great Debates is a wasteland of hot air. I fully agree. I hardly ever pop in to see what kind of nonsense is going down.

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

Cowards. :stuck_out_tongue:

whaaaaaaaaaaat? I seem to be having smilie delay! Yeah, thats it, I would never fuck up the coding.

Seriously though, even in my short time here I have seen a bit of a change in the tone of each forum. GD seems to have become much more rude, for lack of a better term. The Pit, on the other hand, seems to have been hosting its share of threads where folks seem to want to reach consensus and engage in discussion.

Harumph. GD is fun and easy. Too many people, admittedly, seem to think that one wins a debate by repeating the same things over and over again, rather than actually addressing other peoples’ points, and some people are completely intractable (which, IMHO, means their intellectually bankrupt), but on the whole, I rather like GD.

I used to spend a lot of time in GD. Then I came to the Pit, where people are nicer.

I’m so glad I opened this thread - I didn’t want to be a whiny sore loser or something, it’s just…arrrrrghhh! If people don’t want to listen there’s nothing to be done.

The thread to which I was referring asked whether the soul exists. My point boils down to: I have had experiences of my own soul and there are ways I got there & methods that can be used and have been used by people in order to have spiritual experiences. My opponents’ view is that unless you can prove something empirically, it doesn’t exist.

Big ugly ball of wax, but that’s basically it. I forgot how to put in a good thread link, but it’s still up in GD right now if you really want to read a lot of infuriating text. I said a few jackass things but on the whole I think I was really reasonable and accommodating. It didn’t help.

Of course that isn’t the case, which might explain why you are running into so many problems.

Things exist regardless of whether or not we can currently “prove” them empirically.

However until we have some empirical means of confirming that existence there is no reliable way of telling the difference between something that exists and something that somebody just made up. If you can think of another way then you let me know ok?

That seems to have been the fundamental disconnect in that thread. What you call “spiritual experiences” may have served to personally validate your beliefs in a soul but another person may be just as likely to regard similiar experiences in a “non-spiritual” (or at the very least non-supernatural) light. In an event it is not clear at all that any of the experiences you cite could not have been the result of the physical workings of the human brain. A “feeling” or a “certainty” simply isn’t enough to prove the objective existence of something, especially when more reasonable explanations are available.

I’m sorry that your experiences in GD have led you to this point though. It can be unsettling to have some of your most closely held beliefs subject to such strict scrutiny, but that shouldn’t prevent you from doing so. If you want to hold your ground then it’s a great chance to challenge and sharpen your arguements. In any event, I thought you were doing rather well.

I agree. I used to read and contribute to GD a lot in my earlier (and more hot-headed) days on the board, but got tired of the same old shit over and over again. So I almost never read GD anymore.

The Pit is fun. Not really when someone says or does something stupid and a bandwagon or ten insults him for 50 pages, but when an interesting or funny rant leads to interesting and funny conversation. I think people don’t feel they have to push their agenda so hard in such a context.

Great Debates is a fun place in which to hang out; however, if you really want to defend your positions in whatever argument’s are currently floatin’ about, it takes a lot of t-i-m-e. Regardless of one’s contributions, though, it’s great fun to read.

Besides, a person can learn quite a bit over there; and if that learning solely encompasses how to present a better argument, then so be it.

As for debates over the metaphysical, the majority of them will boil down to a stand-off between empirical and anecdotal evidence. Or, what was just better said by Azael.

I used to be horribly intimidated by GD, until I realised that really it’s mostly just people admiring their own masterful grip on rhetoric and talking to themselves. Some good work does get done there - cf the tireless work of certain posters to put forth sensible views on religion and really fighting ignorance. But for the most part, it’s a lot of hot air.

Some people post in Great Debates because they want to weigh evidence, examine issues from all sides, and try to learn more about the world they live in.

And other folks post in Great Debates because they want to go trollin’, but don’t want to get flamed when they get called on their bullshit.

GD regulars can provide the names of their favorite Usual Suspects. :wink:


See also: Lekatt’s Great Trainwreck

One important thing to realize is that there’s a reason it’s called Great Debates: these are arguments that have been around for a long time and haven’t been really resolved, so of course we’re not likely to resolve them here, either. As such, if you go into GD looking to convince the world that you know The Answer to some particular problem, expect to not convince anyone. I find GD to be quite useful in sharpening my own thinking, but it’s not the place to go if you want to establish a consensus on anything.

That said, I don’t see it as being full of rude obnoxious twits, either. YMMV, but most of the posters there, at least in the threads that I read, seem to have set positions which they defend vigorously without being vitriolic. Some posters, of course, have the manners of a bear woken in mid-January, which is irritating, but I just ignore them.

You guys are all just jealous because I’m always right. :stuck_out_tongue: