Author Topic: Forum Motivation  (Read 845 times)

LARA

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Forum Motivation
« on: October 19, 2008, 07:12:27 AM »
Hi laetusatheos, one thing that's concerned me about the forum since when I first joined is the motivation for it.  So I'm going to be direct.  I'm an atheist, but I've been wondering if this forum has any other motivation behind it, specifically towards advancing Objectivism, the Ayn Rand philosophy.  I was hoping that you could clear this issue up for me.  It concerns me because while I fully support free speech and I believe in a concrete reality, I have a problem with Ayn Rand's philosophy and I don't want to support it.  The other thing I don't want to support is any kind of racism.  I'd like to know the forum policies on these areas, if you would be so kind.

The reasons for my concerns, the church you support has a photo of Rand included.  I realize Rand was an atheist and a well written, educated and intelligent philosopher, but since I find very specific parts of her core philosophy to be corrupt, I really want to know.  As far as the concern regarding racism,  some of wazzz posts are raising a red flag for me, but I think this might only be due to a language barrier since he has listed his home country as Greece.

I don't want to do anything to destroy the excellent atmosphere of free speech you have created here.  I just want to know the forum policies towards racism, and if it has any Objectivist goals.
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Asmodean

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 11:35:03 AM »
...which reminds me, do we have the generic "no warez, pornography, racism and whatnot"-rule in the forum rules? Or has it been overlooked?

Edit: It's there, yet it's not. Here is what we have about this:

Quote from: "Rulesâ„¢"
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Happy Atheist Forum” is hosted or International Law.

...which is not quite it since it allows for posting of legal pornograhy, says nothing about warez and is very un-specific on the issue of racism.
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rlrose328

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 08:03:56 PM »
Wow, now I'm curious to know if the forum has any motivation at all, other than to just hang out and discuss any and all topics that might interest the participants.

I didn't know that laetusatheos supported a church at all, much less one that maintains a philosophy.

I frequently disagree with things that people post here but that's what happens on a forum.  When we start to question the motivation behind what we see others post, we are going to have problems.  The world NEEDS all types of communication and beliefs in order to survive.  (I'm not a treehugger and sometimes, ecofriendly people really bug me, but I know we need them to be treehuggers because they focus on that which I sometimes ignore.)
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Squid

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 08:47:03 PM »
I look at it this way: I've been on boards which had a mountain of rules, heavy handed moderators and so forth - it made for an unpleasant environment.  I've also been on boards where any sign of administrative powers was completely absent - it went well for the most part but some things needed moderation such as rampant spam posts, out control trolls and so forth.  In all my time here I've think laetusatheos has done a wonderful job - not using heavy handed moderation, letting people speak their minds on all sorts of issues and being welcoming of anyone even oppositional viewpoints to the majority of posters here.

As for the Rand philosophy and whether or not this site supports this or other things - here's how I view it: I am a member of several other boards, some I post at frequently, some I don't.  I've posted on an alternative medicine board, however, this doesn't mean I support alternative medicine practices.  I've posted on a board (which I was invited to by the administrator oddly enough) which was primarily Christian-based, it doesn't mean I share their views on religion.  When I ran my own atheist site I had material on their which was the product of my own viewpoints but it wasn't necessarily the same view shared by members of my board.  I think being a member of a board is different from being a member of an organization.  With an organization it is assumed that you share the views of that group but when you join a messageboard it doesn't necessarily mean that you share the same views as those who run it.  However, this could be assumed by some, but a quick reading of someone's posts and interacting with them will give you a good idea of what they think.  If laetus likes Ayn Rand, okay.  It doesn't mean I automatically support Randian philosophy.  Someone joins my messageboard and I like Richard Dawkins, it doesn't necessarily mean that they support Dawkins just because they are a member of my board.  I see the posters of boards such as this as autonomous people who happen to meet here to discuss a multitude of things and would be the same in the real world if we would do a "meet-up" at, say, Starbucks - just because we meet to talk there doesn't mean that I like or endorse the drinking of coffee.

Anyhow, that's my two cents.

curiosityandthecat

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 09:14:14 PM »
Just browsed through the FAQ and Rules post, and I see nothing of the sort.

Anyway, does anyone look at Rand's philosophy with any serious concern anymore? It'd be like hearing that someone is a dyed-in-the-wool Continental Rationalist. You just want to look at them and say, "Seriously? I thought we'd moved on..."

Either way, it doesn't matter what Laetus' personal philosophy is. She's good enough to maintain this forum where we can all bitch and moan, and she doesn't ask for anything in return. Maybe I'm for putting babies on spikes; does that mean we can't be friends?
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Asmodean

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 11:30:17 PM »
Quote from: "curiosityandthecat"
Maybe I'm for putting babies on spikes; does that mean we can't be friends?
If only adding this quote didn't make my signature too large...  :unsure:
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Whitney

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 01:25:04 AM »
Um...what church?  The only one I can think of that I could be considered in support of is the North Texas Church of Freethought.  I have met people who attend that church but have not gone to it.  I also do not agree with why they call themselves a church, even if it is clever for tax purposes.  I don't see a picture of Rand on their site...  :unsure:

Anyway...the only purpose behind this site was to counteract claims that atheists are not happy.  I haven't even read Rand's work.  From what I have heard she takes egoism to the extreme and I am unlikely to agree with her on any key factors.

Rule 1 covers things like racism...I didn't think it was necessary list all things which are disrespectful.  As far as I am aware, anyone who has made racist comments on here has either been asked to never do it again or banned (depending on the severity).

Pornography isn't work safe (rule 3), although there isn't a specific rule against posting pornographic items, there is a rule that states it must be called out as not work safe.

Did I cover everything?  Questions/Comments?

LARA

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 02:40:21 AM »
You covered everything.  Thank you.  I do agree with the rest of the forum members that you do an excellent job.  I appreciate the clarification, and I realize the request was pushing things, so your response was very much appreciated.  It was the North Texas Church of Freethought that I was referring to, and the header has changed since the last time I looked at it.  

Now I must go back to my jihad against all representations of Rand   :evil:


Trying to joke.  I just really appreciate your patience on this one.
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Asmodean

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 03:45:48 AM »
Quote from: "laetusatheos"
Did I cover everything?  Questions/Comments?
Warez. It is semi-covered in the rule about illegal stuff, but that never seemed to stop people to link to warez-filled sites anyways. Not on this forum, mind you, and it's not likely to be a problem here. Just answering the question about "covering everything"  :P
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McQ

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 04:41:46 AM »
Lara, your question was totally fair to ask, and it brought forth some good discussion. I'm glad that laetusatheos was able to allay your concerns. I have not read Rand's work either, although I'm seriously considering reading "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead", just to familiarize myself with her.

Keep on truckin'!

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Whitney

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 04:44:27 AM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
Quote from: "laetusatheos"
Did I cover everything?  Questions/Comments?
Warez. It is semi-covered in the rule about illegal stuff, but that never seemed to stop people to link to warez-filled sites anyways. Not on this forum, mind you, and it's not likely to be a problem here. Just answering the question about "covering everything"  :P


I had to look up what warez meant...I think rule 4 has it covered indirectly too.  But you are right that it is not directly addressed and has yet to be an issue at this forum.

Asmodean

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 04:57:53 AM »
Quote from: "laetusatheos"
I had to look up what warez meant...I think rule 4 has it covered indirectly too.  But you are right that it is not directly addressed and has yet to be an issue at this forum.
As a general rule, warez are copyrighted works distributed in violation of copyright law. As such, I don't think it is ever likely to be much of an issue here. Still, most other forums I've been hanging around have warez pointed out specifically as against the rules. It's probably done as insurance. If you say it's against the rules and someone posts it, then you can not be held responsible for it.

Uh... Did we have the "HAF is not responsible for the correctness or legality of any information posted by any of its members" sort of line?  :unsure: Although members here tend to post good quality information, it still IS a nice disclaimerto have.
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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 05:04:29 AM »
Quote from: "McQ"
Lara, your question was totally fair to ask, and it brought forth some good discussion. I'm glad that laetusatheos was able to allay your concerns. I have not read Rand's work either, although I'm seriously considering reading "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead", just to familiarize myself with her.

Keep on truckin'!

 ;)

The best I can describe Rand's work as is "tedious".

McQ

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 01:47:00 AM »
Quote from: "Squid"
Quote from: "McQ"
Lara, your question was totally fair to ask, and it brought forth some good discussion. I'm glad that laetusatheos was able to allay your concerns. I have not read Rand's work either, although I'm seriously considering reading "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead", just to familiarize myself with her.

Keep on truckin'!

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Whitney

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Re: Forum Motivation
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 01:12:52 AM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
Uh... Did we have the "HAF is not responsible for the correctness or legality of any information posted by any of its members" sort of line?  :unsure: Although members here tend to post good quality information, it still IS a nice disclaimerto have.

Somewhat, it's in the agreement (default PHPBB stuff) and listed in the rules area:
Quote
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Happy Atheist Forum” is hosted or International Law.

The old default agreement use to say something about the forum owner(s) not being responsible for content.  I think the wording of the agreement keeps us from being legally responsible (given that users agree not to post anything illegal) but more direct wording that includes us not being responsible for the general content of user posts would be good too.  Of course, the very nature of a forum means that those who admin/moderate it are not responsible for post content of users other than themselves.