Should this forum stay or go?

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Keep Spiritual Matters?

Yes
62
73%
No
6
7%
Remove the Debates forum only
17
20%
 
Total votes: 85

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ccgr
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Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ccgr »

Since this a Christian site, I thought it would be fitting to freely discuss religious issues here. It's no secret that some of the debates here have gotten a bit heated. While the debates can be great for learning and sharpening our faith, they can also be disheartening to young believers. As a member, do you think we should keep this forum or drop it. Feel free to vote anonymously or post your input below. Thanks for sharing your input.

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Cheryl

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LAVA89
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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by LAVA89 »

I'd vote yes, but I'm not sure if spiritual matters are the problem, if people seek answers to learn from other Christians, that's good. Overall, I think forum debates altogether are a bigger problem for this community and should be banned...as I have not seen anything productive come out of them (and do just the horribly opposite, like tear down communities and create overall hostility).
Last edited by LAVA89 on Mon May 20, 2013 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ccgr »

Good point, added an option to remove the debates forum in the poll

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by LAVA89 »

Thanks! Voted :D

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ArcticFox »

I feel like there's a lot of value in the art of debate, and I hate to see the option go.

On the other hand, that only holds true when the debate can take place in a friendly and respectful way. If that isn't an option... then it's better to get rid of it than to have resentment between members building.

For my part, I've been saddened because it seems like most of the discussion in this section of the Forum revolves around "what's wrong with Christianity" and discussions of philosophies and approaches that are incompatible with it. It isn't that those topics shouldn't be available for discussion, but it seems like there's a lot more zeal in attacking Christianity than in defending it around here. It's why I've generally avoided that area lately.

I think it's possible to save the debate section, but it would need HEAVY moderation and that's a decision best left to the leaders here. How much effort is it worth?
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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

Would there be a way to have a reminder pop up before any user posts? Something like - are you relaying your opinion in a respectful manner? Is your post free of personal insults?

Kind of like when you start to post, and someone else has already posted and it shows.

Is that even possible?

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by brandon1984 »

I'm just curious, have there been complaints about people's faith being hurt?

It's not the intention of any debate, whether it gets emotional or not, to hurt people's faith. But, even if it does hurt other's faith should the forum shut it down? I feel like asking questions and probing other's view points are extremely important in life. We can't just continue to live in a bubble, we've got to mature intellectually because the storm of ideas is coming. I think Christianity would be wise to engage with culture and ideas. And, it has the intellectual backbone to do so.

So, I can't say that 'hurting' other's faith is a good enough reason to shut down debating. But, that doesn't mean CCGR should have a debates forum. That depends on the preferences and goals of the administrators.

Anyway, I voted "yes".

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B

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ccgr »

It has annoyed some of the members here. I've tried to tuck it away a bit and make it only visible to members. I just don't want it doing more emotional and spiritual harm than good.

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ArchAngel »

Not to disappoint my predictable positions, but absolutely should Spiritual Matters should stay, and Debates as well.

For starters, after Debates was formed, Spiritual Matters became far more benign. It's much more suited for christian talk about whatever you guys want to talk about. If the only faith talk you guys want to have is prayer requests and bible studies, you are severally stunting the sort of conversations people can and need to have.
There has been an exceptions where debates sprung in Spiritual Matters, which honestly, could have been easily moved to Debates.

I think the removing Spiritual Matters is a non-issue, and as the poll represents (at least now), it's really Debates that's the question and on this I strongly oppose.

For starters, removing Debates will only move the debates back into Spiritual Matters or even General Talk. The desire to debate won't disappear with the forum. There are far less debates in Spiritual Matters now that this happened, and it shows. This is not even a practical solution.

But, the motive behind this is about removing debates altogether. They are already cordoned off in their own subforum with it's own disclaimer. This is about removing debates and discussions from this forum altogether. Debates and discussions that cut deep into one's belief. Yes, they can shake your faith, but that only makes it all the more important. A person should always be able to answer for their beliefs. The debates forum provides a relatively safe environment for people to do so. This is a forum moderated by Christians and populated by christians; us atheists are a vast minority. This is a chance to talk and bump heads with someone who doesn't agree in an environment that's moderated to be civil and fair, by your own people. What better opportunity do you get for hosting these sort of discussions?

But even this is would be stifled in the name of safety, in the name of growth, and in the name of peace. Ladies and gentlemen, let's be honest with our words. This is censorship, pure and simple. This is about cutting out controversial discussions. If the debate forum is banned, where else are these to be talked about? They will be welcomed nowhere. The intent is, of course, to keep this forum as a safe and protected haven, for young and old alike, but if you have to censor discussions, what truly are you protecting?

So, let me present some alternatives. Since much of the controversy is that young, new members, stumbling into a thread where people like myself argue quite vigorously against christian beliefs and dogma.
For starters, remove Debates outside of Spiritual Matters. If you want Spiritual Matters to be a safe haven for young members to seek advice from more matured Christians, Debates is an odd place to hold it. Have it on it's own forum, or under General Talk.
Second, if that visibility is too high and you really insist on having it only for serious and mature members who specifically want to engage in controversial debates, make it a group-only forum. Only visible to members of a select group that a person has to specifically join or be added to by a mod, before they can even see the forum. Have one sticky thread in Spiritual Matters and/or General Talk to mention it's existence and how to join, but outside of that, have it only for members who intentionally want to see it. It'll the backroom poker lounge, full of the cigar smoke of controversial ideas and the whiskey of burning questions.
Maybe you can have your cake and eat it, too.



EDIT (I wanted to answer some posts that were made before mine):
Well, for starters, I've very glad to see people supporting the idea that there should be a place for debates. But, to be clear, debates are not supposed to be spiritually uplifting. It's not your church and it's not a Tony Robbins seminar, it's a battleground for ideas. It's supposed to test your ideas and if it's not, you're not doing it right. For this reason I very much like the idea of having it separate. Let the other topics stay in peace. Let spiritual matters be uplifting, and let the battles stay in Debates.
ArcticFox wrote:For my part, I've been saddened because it seems like most of the discussion in this section of the Forum revolves around "what's wrong with Christianity" and discussions of philosophies and approaches that are incompatible with it. It isn't that those topics shouldn't be available for discussion, but it seems like there's a lot more zeal in attacking Christianity than in defending it around here. It's why I've generally avoided that area lately.
I understand you are very protective of religion and Christianity in particular, but I'll be honest here, I'm not going to make it easy for you and or anybody. I don't hate christians, far from that, but there are many concepts in many religions are I disagree very strongly with and I'll bring it up. If you ever wanted to turn the tables, I'll be happy to defend any of my beliefs. Make a thread on what you feel are the dangers of atheism and I will answer.
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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by Hoshika »

Debates can be healthy as they open our eyes to other points of view and new ways of solving problems. But I tend to see them go very quickly or begin as all out word fights among younger people in particular with very devastating effects on the community. I'll just drop this here; "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought." - 1 Corinthians 1:10
<div><strong><a href="/www.geocities.com/layerofhoshika">Who knows what burns beneath the surface?</a></strong></div><br>

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by brandon1984 »

I think the biggest concern seems to be harming young gamer's faith (or even older gamer's faith). Does anyone have evidence that this is happening? Is there any evidence that the debates on Christian issues are helping anyone's faith?

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ccgr »

I've learned a lot from them and have seen different perspectives on things I would not have otherwise considered or thought of.

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by ArchAngel »

I appreciate you saying that, ccgr, and I whole-heartedly agree with you. I would have decidedly be less of a person without it and I've come to appreciate the challenging of any part of my beliefs.

Maybe to put in a good word for those of us who enjoy to spar ideas, even though our debates to get very heated, I think we do a good job keeping off a personal level. For the type of subjects we tackle, we do a good job not insulting others or hating each other.
Well, at least I don't hate you guys. There might be a Hate-ArchAngel club going around. If there is, I want to see soviet/WW2 propaganda posters. That would be lovely.
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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by N1ghtBreak3r »

Here's my two cents on the whole thing: if you want to debate do it in debates. If you are an atheist, then really you shouldn't be trolling on spiritual matters since the topics here are generally about God. Why try to get people all fired up when the topics don't pertain to you?

Spiritual matters should stay but should be moderated so that those who actually have an vested interest in such things can post without fear of being attacked (or debated to death) for their beliefs.

The problem with debates is that they are two parties with opposing beliefs who aren't going to change their minds arguing their points. Spiritual matters should be for those who are genuinely searching for answers.

I don't post to argue, I'm sure there are some who have opposing views of my two cents, but they are mine, darn it!

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Re: Should this forum stay or go?

Post by LAVA89 »

ArchAngel wrote:Yes, they can shake your faith, but that only makes it all the more important. A person should always be able to answer for their beliefs.
ArchAngel wrote:there are many concepts in many religions are I disagree very strongly with and I'll bring it up.
So, based on these statements I want to ask: Would you say that your goal in debating is to build a better atheist (i.e. encourage doubt and disbelief in other people) or build a better Christian? That is, original intention irregardless of the actual outcome.

I know a safe answer would be neither or both and just to say "debating is to seek truth", but that might be too subjective.

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