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Archive 1


RW Moles Declaration

Copied From RationalWiki

"We the undersigned may find ourselves opposed to some or most of the content that will be developed on ASK, but we cherish free speech and open debate. We ask to be given a voice in the project without ideological censorship or blocking, and in return, we pledge that we are publicly refraining and discouraging others from doing the following on the ASK Wiki:
  • Vandalizing content
  • Posing as other RW or CP users to conduct mischief in their name
  • Inserting parody
  • Manipulating pageviews
We may wind up provoking each other over time, but with this start we look forward to building mutual respect over time as well."
-SilverSloth 00:07, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Ace McWicked 00:28, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
EddyP 00:27, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
JustSimon 00:13, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Taytopacket 00:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Theemperor 00:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--SpinyNorman 18:54, 25 March 2009 (EDT) (aka DinsdaleP)
--DogP 19:02, 25 March 2009 (EDT) (aka see my RW:user page for socks).
--MDB 19:02, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
ħuman Number 19 - not that I ever did any of those at CP, either... 01:00, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Passerby25 19:44, 25 March 2009 (EDT) Although i never really tried to vandalize CP, and it has been a while since I actually tried to make a new account, I am willing to give this a try.
--ENorman 19:49, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--User 11speak to me (Theresa Wilson) 19:51, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--Refugeetalk page 19:59, 25 March 2009 (EDT) free speech! no vandalism. :-)
--Weaseloid 20:03, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--~Ttony21(talk, contribs) 20:05, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 20:18, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--Robledo 20:19, 25 March 2009 (EDT) Hell aye.
--Nate River 20:22, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--User:Publius/sig0 20:38, 25 March 2009 (EDT)
--Sterile 00:51, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Johann 01:15, 26 March 2009 (GMT)
--Π 01:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Barraki 01:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I am new to RationalWiki but I will still sign it--Monkeyman 01:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I shall from refrain from parody- tempting as it seems.Several ingredients 11:22, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
--Pinto's5150Talk 05:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I apparently missed this on RW, but yeah, duh. +sign even if I find the phrasing a bit dramatic ;) --Sid 00:59, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
+sign --Yossarian 01:02, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

May I suggest that the above list be signed "live" over here by people rather than copied? I'm "fixing" mine now.

ħuman Number 19 01:00, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
+sign --Konstanty 01:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
TheoryOfPractice 01:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Tealish 02:08, 26 March 2009 (UTC) - I'll include myself here just because I have an account at RW. As of now, I don't see anything here at ASK I vehemently oppose.
--Martin Arrowsmith 02:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--CorryTalk 02:54, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Reddwarf 02:54, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Netharian 03:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Patrickr 04:23, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--OneForLogic 05:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

05:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 06:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Etc 07:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--RedDog 07:51, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--A.Fox 08:04, 26 March 2009 (UTC) I should clarify that I'm not opposed to the biblical view and can't see that there is much reason why I should find myself against aSK. I know PJR and Tim aren't going to let this become a hate site like CP became, so I will publicly discourage others from attacking it. (Of coiurse, my great conservative insight is that this is just smoke and mirrors, and the biggest only real threat to this site is posed by the hateful, two-faced, slimey 5th column that are moving here from CP).
--Ajkgordon 09:05, 26 March 2009 (UTC) Not just vandalism, parody, etc. but also purposeful inclusion of facetious content, e.g. loads of articles that contradict a Biblical world view.
Totnesmartin 10:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Toffeeman 10:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Seventhrib 11:36, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--WJThomas 12:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Noether 13:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC) (a.k.a. Masterbratac)
--Crundy 14:11, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Phantom Hoover 15:47, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
o ListenerXTalkerX 19:01, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Dreaded Walrus 21:55, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
--Barikada 03:48, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Edgerunner76 13:28, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
DiEb 19:35, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I like you, PJR. Be glad. --Acionyx 15:19, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Mega 18:29, 18 April 2009 (UTC) (I'm not particularly welcome on RW, but that might be a recommendation for ASK)
Thieh 11:06, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
SuperJosh 20:32, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Rpeh 14:47, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not really a RWian, but I agree with the declaration nonetheless. Christopher Henry 02:33, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Hojimachong 04:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Concernedresident 17:28, 21 August 2010 (UTC) (I'm curious to see what it's like to write within the constraints of the aSK biblical worldview. It's a bit like role-playing, but my contributions will be sincere.

My take on this

Commendable. So I commend you for this :D May I make a suggestion? I am going to make a suggestion. I have made it to individuals, but here I can make it collectively and save on repetition. As A Storehouse of Knowledge explicitly represents a Biblical worldview, so do all of its articles. That means that every article can be taken to begin with "According to the Biblical worldview". Now that will make no difference at all to the content of many articles, but it will make a difference to many other articles. If you cannot make factual edits to an article within that "according to the Biblical worldview" than avoid that article. If you wish to disagree with the Biblical worldview, then an article that is "according the Biblical worldview" is not the place to do it. Take such to the talk pages, to an essay or debate (debates aren't set up yet, but they will be) or to a seperate article about the disputed facts (e.g. an article on alledged Biblical contradictions).

Some of you seem to take your signatures above seriously, and I am afraid some seem not to. If you have already edited the "disputed facts" in articles in a way counter to what I laid out above, I would recommend you either revert or modify you own edits as a demonstration of good faith.

Some of know of me from CP (it was only a little splash) so you should know that I value civility and fairness. You will appreciate that I will not be heavy handed, but I will expect those who signed this to honour it.

Remember: you can disagree and still be welcome as long as you play by the rules.BradleyF (LowKey) 03:30, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Heh. And what of those people who are Christians and acknowledge what science has demonstrated to be true over the past few centuries? Many, many people are able to reconcile their faith with scientific truth. Will this project be able to deal with this sort of thing? TheoryOfPractice 03:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
One thing to consider, piggybacking off of ToP, is that Christian belief is by no means monolithic in any sense, and that includes the nature of the Bible. Some consider it inerrant, some infallible, some allegoric, metaphoric, or otherwise symbolic. This leads to very different conclusions on many issues, and all from people worshiping the same God.
Therefore maybe it would be good to acknowledge that a "Biblical worldview" can mean a lot of different things. There are plenty of devout Christians who have no problems with the planet being older than six thousand years. Some feel that it is a serious sin to take your day of rest on Sunday instead of Saturday. Some have an ancient, well-formed liturgy, some have no liturgy at all. Some believe that God doesn't get involved much in the small details in life, some pray earnestly when they lose their car keys. These people all fundamentally practice the same faith. For this reason I argue that a false dichotomy should not be set up, one of YEC hence Christian vs. not YEC hence not Christian. CorryTalk 03:50, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
aSK is not a "Christian worldview" site. It is a "Biblical worldview" site. You are citing examples of christians believing in Evolution, however, that does not change the fact that according to the Bible, Creation is the true origin of the universe. --TimStalk 03:53, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

(undent) Oh, I figure there'll be face-palming and head-banging on keyboards from the various sides, but with this start at least it will be coming from a dialogue and not a one-way flow of opinion. It also helps to have realistic expectations about each other - at this point I don't expect Philip to back off of his "Christianity is the only correct, valid religion" viewpoint, but that doesn't mean we can't have interesting discussions or find common ground on other things. --DinsdaleP 04:02, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

"but with this start at least it will be coming from a dialogue and not a one-way flow of opinion." Not bloody likely--look at what Tim did to Human evolution, for example. This project is bound to prove that people who put religious ideology before objective science will only be able to win arguments when they can set the terms. TheoryOfPractice 04:06, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
There is science to back up creationism. You guys just reject it because it doesn't fit your worldview. As for the human evolution, there can be a page on it, however it cannot present it as fact. I moved the page because the content on it seemed suited to a Human origins page.--TimStalk 04:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
(ecX2 ) @Tim- do you think that it would therefore make sense to use the term "Biblical inerrancy" on the page discussing Biblical worldview? CorryTalk 04:08, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
"There is science to back up creationism." No there isn't. Not unless you count slowing down the speed of light as science, to name but one bit of stupidity that has arisen from people trying to reconcile a narrow and ideologically-driven worldview with the biases inherent in reality. TheoryOfPractice 04:13, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

ECnth(outdent)See, this is the place for discussion like this. Taking your (TOP's) question (way above) literally - PJR, myself and many others here are "those people". The thing is you and we disagree over "scientific truth". Once we have articles for "science" , "evidence" and "dysjunctive syllogism" (hi, Ed) going I look forward to interesting Talk, but I don't have time for indepth discussion right now. I do notice that your only example of creation science is poorly supported and fringe view. Well the strawman is all set up; who's got the matches? I expect when Philip is a little less busy with early housekeeping he will have time take part in such discussions. (I was going to mention his "insights" but I have developed aversions to certain words). Actually, TOP if you are so hostile to our worldview (and you seem it so far) why are you here? And if you can't edit within the rules, why sign above?

Responding to Corry, "Biblical worldview" doesn't encompass as many different things as you may think, and "faith" and "worldview" are not exactly congruent. Inerrancy is a key component of a Biblical worldview. The article implies that, but doesn't state it outright. So yes maybe the term should be used in the article. Also, I don't know of any YEC that will say not YEC=not Christian.BradleyF (LowKey) 04:49, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, chaps. I also really appreciate the attempt to work with mutual respect, even though we disagree. What I would have liked to have seen in the petition, however, is also a line about not inserting an opposing POV into the articles. But I don't want to downplay your intentions.

As for some of the objections raised in this sub-section, there's always going to be disagreement about just what is and what isn't (biblical, for example). But the principle is the main point, here, and this site is not just "biblical", but according to how evangelicals generally understand it. There will always people to claim to be 'Christian' (and may in fact be, it's not for me to say), who follow some non-biblical ideas rather than what the Bible says. So should we accept the views of these "unblblical Christians", or stick to what the Bible actually says? (That question is in principle, because I haven't mentioned any particular views.)

We also need to speak the same language. No, I'm not talking about English (although that's applicable too), but about things like "science". To answer TheoryOrPractice, creationists do accept science, and what it has shown. What we don't accept is that evolution really counts as science. Telling creation scientists that they don't accept science is nonsense. And yes, they are scientists by any non-self-serving definition of the word you want. To put it another way, scientists sometimes disagree. They don't stop being scientists or doing science just because they have a different view. Similarly, accusing creationists of rejecting science because they disagree with some of the views of the majority of scientists is nothing short of bigotry, and if you're going to be like that, perhaps you shouldn't be here.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

"unblblical Christians" -> Why does Andy and his "you're not a conservative unless your beliefs match mine exactly" stance spring to mind? There are Christians who don't accept the Bible as inerrant (or rather accept that the Bible contains errors and inaccuracies, or should not be read literally) because they believe it was written by fallible humans. I hope you're not saying that they are not real Christians. Nx 07:56, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I think that's too narrow a brush you're painting with, Nx. I interpreted PJRs comments to mean that he accepts that while, for example, Messianic Jews generally interpret the Bible in a broadly similar fashion to most Christians, some cults, such as the Moonies, project a public image which is most definitely at odds with their real beliefs. A.Fox 08:04, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
"Why does Andy and his ... stance spring to mind?": Because you're a cynic?
"I hope you're not saying that they are not real Christians.": I said, "There will always people to claim to be 'Christian' (and may in fact be, it's not for me to say)" (bolding added).
So my question to you is, do you claim that everyone who claims to be a Christian accurately reflects what a Christian should be or bases their beliefs solely on the Bible, rather than anti-biblical sources? To put it another way, do you accept that there may be Christians who get biblical teaching wrong, for whatever reason?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 10:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Do you accept that there may be Christians who choose to interpret the Bible differently, in a way that's compatible with the facts, and may be annoyed when you say that their beliefs are based on "anti-biblical sources" and that they are "unbiblical"? Nx 15:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
If they are understanding the Bible differently to me, but in a way that's compatible with the fact, then I won't be describing their views as being based on anti-biblical sources or as unbiblical. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:47, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
That question wasn't directed at me, but its such a fascinating one, I want to respond. I'd argue that probably every Christian gets some Biblical teaching wrong, because we are fallible. Or, as I heard it put once, only one person ever got it exactly right, and He was crucified because of it. MDB 13:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Ignoring the science issues, I think you run a risk of ending up replicating the culture of CP with your "Biblical Worldview" standpoint. (Though you do have one tremendous advantage over CP -- you, unlike Mister Schlafly, seem to be a reasonable human being and a pretty decent fellow -- for a conservative. :-) Moreover, unlike Mister Schlafly, you're not a complete jerk.) Two (or more) reasonable Christians can disagree on what is the Biblical worldview. For instance,

  • There are a myriad of interpretations of the Book of Revelation. Heck, if you get ten Christians in a room, you might well find ten different interpretations of Revelation. (Including my view that its debatable whether it even belonged in the Bible at all.)
  • I doubt you'd get many Christians who would argue that God generally endorses violence as a way to solve problems, but you would get a good debate on when God would support using violence. (I had several fascinating discussions about that with a former pastor of mine who was a borderline pacifist.)

My concern is that, when you say "Biblical worldview", you mean your own Biblical worldview, and if you are forceful in enforcing that, this will just end up being Conservapedia Part Deux. Now, as I said, you seem to be a far more reasonable person than Andy Schlafly, so I think what I'm ultimately trying to say here is "avoid the pitfalls that made CP into CP".

In conclusion, I wish you well. I've said before that there is a reasonable place on the web for a conservative Christian encyclopedia. I may disagree with some of its viewpoints, but as long as its open to honest debate, then more power to them. MDB 11:33, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Let me (try to) allay your concerns. No, I'm not talking about "my" biblical worldview. I'm talking about the "mainline" evangelical biblical worldview, which in many respects is the standard Christian worldview for the past 2000 years. So when Exodus 20:11 says that God created everything in six days, that's what I believe because that's what the Bible unambiguously says. And it's what most Christians have believed for the last 2000 years, except for a growing rejection of it, demonstrably based on non-biblical arguments (i.e. atheistic arguments masquerading as science) (see the 'Criticism' section here) over the last 200 years approximately.
But when it comes to Revelation, which is apocalyptic writing, and on which Christians have long disagreed, then this site will not adopt "my" view, but will explain the various views.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:24, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'm not going to debate Creationism with you, because that will only lead to us both getting frustrated. I'd suggest that, in general, you try to take a broad view of what constitutes a Biblical worldview. Its your site, though.
In question, will you accept debate on your 'Talk' pages, as opposed to the articles themselves? MDB 14:05, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Most people also believed the Earth was flat and that it didn't move, then those nasty non-biblical atheistic arguments masquerading as science came along. Nx 15:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
No they didn't. That is a myth promulgated by dishonest atheists to discredit creationists. (See the Conservapedia article on the flat Earth for the references to back up my claim there.) That is why this encyclopædia is needed—to counter some of this absolute nonsense that is so rife out there. So how many other things you think about Christians and creationists are actually wrong? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:51, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
You're mixing up dishonesty with ignorance. The flat-earth myths is simply one of those enormously prevalent myths, and even Wikipedia is clear on what the truth is (and provides a much better explanation than CP). However, the bible was invoked routinely to prove a) geocentrism, and b) a static earth (freezing the sun in the sky, moving it backward), as well as countless other theories (the history of natural theology is absolutely fascinating). Many who, like myself, were raised as Christians find it absurd that people can claim biblical inerrancy when they pick and choose which bits are literal, which metaphorical, and which allegorical. 16-19th century Christianity was remarkably open to reexamining biblical text in the light of new scientific development, yet the evangelical movement has slammed this door to its great discredit, by creating this false dichotomy between theism and evolution. Publius 00:19, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Many people repeating the myth are ignorant rather than dishonest, but the inventors of it were dishonest. The Bible being invoked doesn't necessarily mean that it was proper to do so. In normal everyday discussions, do you "pick and choose" which things are literal, metaphorical, and allegorical, or do you use context and your knowledge of the language to determine these? And if the latter, why can't people reading the Bible do the same? The Bible and evolution are unambiguously incompatible, so that's no false dichotomy. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:49, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Why can't people reading the Bible to the same? They can, but you want it both ways. Human interpretation introduces ambiguity, as we have no certain ways of privileging one interpretation over the other, yet you privilege your own (I'm interested to know why. What is it that so many Christians don't get about creation, in your view?). You have no choice but to invoke metaphor to explain Joshua halting the sun, or else you are left asserting that the sun travels around a stationary earth (or something close to it). Yet at the same time, you claim that the Bible and evolution are unambiguously incompatible. This is simply false. Thousands of biblical scholars and Christians of all sorts don't see this incompatibility, as they interpret the accounts of creation differently. They are not "picking and choosing," but using accumulated knowledge of nature (yes, including evolution) to inform their understanding of scripture. What is the context of the creation account? It was originally written (whether divinely or by humans) for bronze age men, totally incapable of comprehending enormous numbers, genetics, chemistry, physics, cosmology, or any of the rest of tools in god's trade. If you claim that their interpretation is "unbiblical," then so too you must consider metaphorical explanations of Joshua (to use only one example) as "unbiblical" lest you be accused of hypocrisy. Publius 01:06, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, can't we all just get along? There are many more areas that can be improved, rather than trying to change each other's point of view. Geo.plrd 15:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Geo, it's pretty hard to "just get along" when people with a reality-based worldview and people with a mythology-based worldview are trying to decide what counts as "knowledge." TheoryOfPractice
TOP, if you think that this site is based on mythology, so be it. Either contribute in a manner consistent with that mythology, or else go somewhere else. This is an encyclopedia based on a biblical worldview. Whether it is truth or mythology, the site is based on it. If you can't contribute under those conditions, then you shouldn't be here. --TimStalk 21:06, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Reversion of OscarJ's recent criticism

First of all, this page needs a review. It is becoming essentially an attack page. Further, it utterly fails to take account of the fact that Rationalwiki is a wiki containing editors with multple points of view and just lumps everyone together as "Rationalwiki". That is misleading and unfair.

In relation to Oscar's most recent attack, I have removed it for the following reasons: (1) It is misleading in that it refers to unsupported allegations. In the case of the first link provided (Ed Poor) the "allegations" are all linked and are therefore not unsupported. The word "pedophile" does not appear on the page. (2) The second link is quite clearly not an allegation at all. It is a joke (possibly in poor taste). It is quite clear from the context that no allegation is being made at all, merely a criticism of something TK said at one point on CP. (3) The final link was a defamatory insinuation placed there by one editor and removed by another back in in February 2009. The edit remark upon the removal was: "Let's not fall into the trap of accusing all of our political enemies with nasty behaviour" which runs absolutely counter the the point that Oscar was seeking to make. Accordingly I have reverted Oscar's addition. --Horace 22:39, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I think not so much an attack page as a lot of valid criticism to recount. I think the "multiple POV" claim has some merit but is also somewhat a copout. RW, whether it is admitted or not, is a community. There are espoused community standards and practiced community standards; there is no problem with mentioning both but as long as the practiced community standards are indeed that. What a community tolerates, it effectively endorses. Regarding what goes on at RW and whether it is fair to ascribe it to RW as a whole, I will repeat (slightly modified) what I already had to say about this when removing an actual attack against an RW. Rationalwiki - as a whole? most? some? the leaders? Is this a sufficient trend to apply to the site as a whole? Source material? I think that to apply criticisms to RW the question in bold must be answered "yes" and I think that for these criticisms it is.
(1) The claims in the Ed Poor article at RW having links does not necessarily mean that they are supported. A major trend that I have seen first hand at RW is to makes claims that are distortions of the piped links. I don't know that that is the case here, but I do know that there are many (many) off-hand "defamatory insinuations" in talk pages.
(2) Fair enough, but I would say definitely poor taste. I don't know how far "only joking" goes as a defamation defence.
(3) You gloss over the fact that the defamatory insinuation was part of the article at creation in July 2007, and was not only tolerated but built upon for the next 18 months or so by a handful of editors before being eventually removed. Thus the RW trend actually runs in accord with the point that Oscar was making. Oscar used a particular example but there also the many allegations of homosexuality, and there is also professional denigration that keeps cropping up (although I wouldn't call that a MAJOR trend).
Having said all that, I generally dislike criticism sections, and would rather see criticisms integrated properly into articles in an appropriate and fair manner. LowKey 02:59, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


  1. A community has many members. Any trait we seek to ascribe to the community, there will be some members who it is not true of. For example, I am a RationalWikian (I edit RW much more heavily than I edit here), and I wrote much of the criticisms on this page. Do I believe the criticisms apply to all members of RW? No, of course not. I don't believe them to apply to myself (which is certainly not to say that I am beyond criticism, and maybe despite my belief that they don't, some of them do...) But, we can ascribe attributes to groups of people that go beyond those of their individual members. If we couldn't, it would be impossible to talk about concepts such as culture or religion or politics (all of which are no single individual, but the sum of many individuals, none of whom match that sum/average exactly). What makes a trait a community trait, as opposed to an individual one? Well, if it is just a single editor, or a small group of editors, it is probably not representative of the community as a whole. But a large group of editors (does not have to be a majority), that tends to indicate the community behaviour. There are other factors also — individual influence — a small group is not very representative of a community if it is composed of outsiders, much more representative if it contains influential, respected, long-standing editors. Another is how the remainder reacts — if a subgroup acts in a certain way, even if that subgroup be only a minority, and the remainder do not raise objections, then the community is tacitly accepting the subgroup's views or behaviour, and those traits can be ascribed to the community as a whole, at least to a certain degree; whereas, if the subgroup is opposed and criticised by other members in the group, then we can't so easily ascribe those traits to the whole community.
  2. It seems to me to be a common (by no means universal, but certainly common) attitude among RWians that RW is beyond criticism; that RW exists to criticise everyone else, but any criticism of RW must ipso facto be invalid. I see evidence of that attitude on this very talk page, and I added the criticism section in an attempt to remedy that — I found on the Internet only a limited quantity of criticism of RW, and much of the criticism I found I do not consider intellectually respectable, so I am trying to remedy that deficiency.
  3. If you disagree with some of the current criticisms of RW, but agree with others, that is one thing. But if you propose the article should be free of criticisms of RW, such a position cannot be taken seriously.
  4. I am aware of how RW treats Ed Poor, and it is completely unconscionable. The cases OscarJ cites are just a few along many; if you don't believe me, look, you will find the same defamatory insinuation in many other places also. To be honest, I have to admit, that while I was aware of this matter, I was blinded to its grave immorality until OscarJ brought clarified things for me, and I have to give him credit for that. This sort of defamatory insinuation which is being made repeatedly against Ed Poor (that he has an interest in engaging in sexual conduct with minors) is completely unacceptable unless strong evidence is presented to justify it, and the evidence presented is extremely weak. Ed Poor has his faults, as we all do, but he deserves to be treated as a human being; yet many on RationalWiki can't understand the idea that you can deeply disagree with someone's beliefs but still have the decency to treat them as a fellow human being worthy of respect and dignity, and many others, while they might not do that themselves, are so morally blind that they fail to speak up when faced with it (and, as I said, I have been guilty of the later, but I will try not to be from now on)
  5. LowKey's position, that criticisms should not belong in a separate "criticisms" section, but be worked into the rest of the article — that is fair enough, and I would have no objection if the article was changed in that way. Maratrean 11:24, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Of course you are going to support the criticisms section; this is your personal whine and attack article, M. "Encyclopedic" is laughable as it every was. Are you trying to create criticsm? in limbo 12:06, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Like how you fail to substantively respond to LowKey's or my own replies. "trying to create criticism"? I am not the one who has been posting links to sexually explicit images on my RW user talk page. The people creating criticism are the users who are doing that, the users who are defending them, and the users who won't speak up against it when they know it is going on. Maratrean 12:29, 27 August 2011 (UTC
Maratrean, I see you haven't also gotten around to posting your insightful criticism of RW's awful awful culture concern trolling on RWW, your wiki, your blog, your twitter, and Ameriwiki, and anywhere else you can think of. Chop chop. Teh Terrible Asp 17:03, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
"Concern trolling" is a phrase invented to stifle dissent. Maratrean 21:08, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
No it's not. And since you don't even have a sincere objection to nudity in the first place it's an extremely accurate description of what you're doing. Same goes for your sickeningly dishonest "rationality" trolling. Here's an idea - since RW managed to totter along without your sheer brilliance for 4 years as such a rotten irrational place populated by such rotten irrational people making such rotten irrational articles - maybe you don't fit in, aren't welcome, and are taking advantage of most people's resistance to telling even a majorly disruptive troll like you to sod off. If you find yourself so busy complaining about how everyone else is doing it wrong and slighting you, rest assured that you are the problem. And you really are huge waste of time and energy, Maratrean. Please go away. Teh Terrible Asp 05:25, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I do have a sincere objection to nudity in inappropriate/irrelevant contexts. If we are involved in a discussion about art, and you produce an artwork containing nudity, I would not object. But, when one is discussing something unrelated, and someone suddenly pulls out an irrelevant image of nudity (and, some of the images involved here have contained more than just nudity, a couple were graphically pornographic), that is just being offensive. Can't you see that? I think most people can.
And, RationalWiki devotes page after page to criticising other websites — it was basically founded to criticise Conservapedia, and although it has grown a bit broader in interest, criticism of CP still consumes a fair chunk of RW activity. And it devotes several pages to criticising this website. Isn't it hypocritical to criticise everyone else, yet to insist that RW itself is beyond criticism, and any other website that contains criticism of RW, that is invalid? Maratrean 05:59, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Sigh. More time at ASK than I want to be. Maratrean--no one is saying that RW is beyond criticism. RW has been open for criticism from the start because of its history with CP. But it isn't clear that your particular case, based on your experiences, is representative of the whole site and community, especially given the recent fragmentation of the community. It's like saying someone got robbed in NYC, [deleted by Umpire] all New Yorkers are careless and don't care about my getting robbed, and [deleted by Umpire] New York is a city of thieves. The recent enetries are all your particular experience; it's not clear it's the common experience of a RW editor. (You don't seem to get the concept of do not feed the troll, as well; but then again, most at RW don't get that based on the MC stuff. If you'd just ignore it for a few days and then delete it without fanfare, it would be done.) I also think it's slimy to put your criticism on another site in an encyclopedia with the air of objectivity; there is no way you are an objective observer. You also don't seem to get the concept that just because you think something's a criticism doesn't mean that everyone agrees with you. Your criticisms are open to criticism themselves. Furthermore, if you present a crank idea on a website for which the purpose is "documenting the full range of crank ideas," what did you expect? Sterile 12:42, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Imagine someone got robbed in NYC... by a policeman... and then when they went to the police station to complain, they were dismissed, or even robbed again... that's the problem with RW, it's not just a few individuals doing bad things, its that so many others will let those few get away with it... it's a problem when there is no effective authority to enforce the rules, and when the nearest thing to such an authority is the moderators, and some of the moderators are among the main offenders—and not just against me...
You complain I am not an objective observer, but who is an objective observer? Are you? Is anyone? When RW editors post criticisms of other sites on RW, are they being objective observers? Generally not. I think more important, is people bring the available data to the table, and then we can discuss what conclusions are warranted. If someone posts criticisms you don't agree with, how about we make the focus of the discussion the validity of those criticisms, rather than focusing as you seem to be doing on the person of the critic? Since we are dealing with a wiki, the raw data is available to everyone — its not like I'm recounting personal experience which is not objectively verifiable by third parties, since anyone who reviews the relevant edit histories can see what happened and draw their own judgements. Maratrean 13:33, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I've not been following proceeding on RW, but I would agree with Maratrean on a few point here:
  • ...who is an objective observer? Are you? Is anyone? When RW editors post criticisms of other sites on RW, are they being objective observers? Generally not.
  • ...more important, is people bring the available data to the table, and then we can discuss what conclusions are warranted. Even apart from people such as Sterile discussing it from their point of view, we have Bradley who (I gather) keeps up with what's happening on RW. I did just pop over there to see what's been happening on Bradley's page, and noted ListenerX' comment that "There is a reason that the Deuteronomic code required two witnesses to testify where misbehavior was concerned." My response is that I agree, but we have Bradley as a second witness (anyone can look at specific instances, but to get impressions about how bad (or not) it is takes more than that). And Bradley has shown a willingness to change some things that Maratrean has written.
  • If someone posts criticisms you don't agree with, how about we make the focus of the discussion the validity of those criticisms, rather than focusing as you seem to be doing on the person of the critic? Those "rational" people at RW seem too willing to dismiss anything Maratrean says that they don't agree with, because of his religious views. By contrast, here on aSK, we also disagree with his religious views, but take his arguments on their merits rather than letting his (rather odd) religious views influence our reactions to his arguments.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:36, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

(od) I have actually been following RW's "phase-change" (as I think of it) a bit. One of the "features" is that RW is even more fragmented than usual.
Some RW editors dimiss Maratrean because of his religious views while others maintain that apart from those views he is a voice of reason and moderation. Some dismiss him because he disagrees, or raises issues that they do not want to address (or perhaps do not consider to be real issues). Others engage in meaningful discussion. The criticism in this is, I think, how the basest behaviour of the few is tolerated generally, and that in some cases the basest behaviour comes from those who are entrusted with moderating community behaviour. LowKey 10:14, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

"Criticisms" need thorough clean up

The current "Criticisms" section is starting to become more a list of anecdotal grievances. The first point is more editorial than encyclopaedic, and several of the other points are largely redundant, being additional examples of behaviour already mentioned (e.g. there are multiple points about reason and rationality, multiple points about treatment of dissent). There is then the issue of whether the section is recounting criticism or a place for making criticism. The former would be appropriate while the latter would not. I propose that the criticisms be worked into main article content, and the anecdotes relegated to examples. LowKey 06:31, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Slightly better now? Still could do with more work, but we no longer have a heading called "Criticism" at least... Maratrean 06:40, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I would say slightly better. I do like having a "culture" section. I think some of what is still there should really in references/notes. The culture of RW is not all negative, and we should present a balanced view - our presentation should be undistorted and should relect the balance at the site. Also RW's culture is somewhat in flux, with some trying to develop a more mature community while others apparently resist exactly that. I'm too tired to work on it just now, but I'll have a stab at it before too long. LowKey 09:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The first point is more editorial than encyclopaedic... I'm not so sure. Yes, it does read like it's making an argument rather than simply documenting how things are (although I think that distinction exists more in style than substance), but it could be worded better.
There is then the issue of whether the section is recounting criticism or a place for making criticism. The former would be appropriate while the latter would not. If by "making" you mean that aSK is the first place the criticism is made, then I don't see a problem. The criteria for inclusion includes that the information is factual (as well as relevant), not that it's been documented elsewhere first (which is the reverse of Wikipedia which requires verifiability, not truth).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:45, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, regarding making criticism, I was perhaps not too clear. It was looking to me like dotpoints were individual personal complaints - grievances rather criticisms. As such they were really examples of particular behaviours and belong in notes or references - or maybe even the research page. I am not questioning the validy of these points. Indeed I have seen either the specific incidents mentioned or something similar far too often. I am more concerned over the style and usage of the article. LowKey 10:26, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

My edits

I have suggested that this article be deleted. However, Philip has stated that it should remain. I have therefore commenced fixing it up. When I commenced it read more like an essay by an embittered Rationalwiki editor. It was grossly unencyclopaedic and it just lumped all Rationalwiki editors in together. I edit there occasionally and I find it offensive to be described in the manner employed in the article as it stood. If this article is to stay it should not read like a personal blog. It should be an encyclopaedic article. I have made a number of changes and I intend to make more. --Horace 02:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Some of your replacement text is less accurate than that which it replaced. I am going to restore a bit. Also, I inserted a word in your post above - I am pretty sure that you intended it but missed it. I hope I didn't step on any sensitive digits. LowKey 06:13, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I take issue with your assertion that some of the replacement text is less accurate but I look forward to seeing what you are referring to. And, yes, I did intend to include the word "not" there. Thanks for inserting it for me. --Horace 06:18, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I am mostly referring to your downgrading the intolerance of dissent to a single minor incident. Remember that the provision of a single example does not indicate only a single incident. I am quite happy to collaborate inthe itnerests of making this accurate and fair. Note my role in the history of the article, this talk page and my own talk page both here and at RW. This "spilling" of discussions into multiple areas is one of the RW "behaviours" that I find very frustrating. I would actually like to mention it in the article because it is an interesting phenomenon, but as yet I haven't been able to parse it into a sensible paragraph. LowKey 06:28, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I have edited to reflect that virtually no one is ever banned from RW. The way the article was phrased made it sound as though RW engaged in hypocrisy for attacking CP's authoritarian intolerance of dissent while not permitting dissent at RW, but this is clearly false. People such as JimJast (who has his own theory of relativity) or Maratrean would be blocked and their contributions deleted if they dissented at CP, but this is not the case at RW. They are permitted to talk all the want and spout their opinions. Just because they are mocked and not well-received - well, that has more to do with them than with RW.--AD 06:33, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Just because RW shows more tolerant of dissent than CP, doesn't mean it really tolerates dissent. It is intolerant of dissent, not as intolerant as CP, but still intolerant. To be really tolerant of dissenters, you have to be willing to respect them even while disagreeing with them, but respect is not something RW is very good at. I'd say, this site tolerates dissent much better than either CP or RW does. Maratrean 07:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
(EC) @LowKey: Ok, I have now seen your edits and, I am afraid to say, I do not like them. The first edit adds back in a criticism of "scientism". As I understand it that term is used purely as a criticism. No-one self-identifies as an adherent to scientism so far as I am aware. So the very application of the descriptor is probably unacceptable. It is an opinion of the editor, not a verifiable fact. Even if I am wrong there (and I am never wrong) the addition that you made is a piece of editorialism that is inappropriate in an encyclopaedia and would be better suited to an essay or blog. You will be surprised to find out that I also take issue with your second and third edits. I changed those sections because the references only supported an individual incident in each case and yet the wording suggests more general trends. You say that "the provision of a single example does not indicate only a single incident". That seems an odd statement to me. I suppose that you mean that just because we only know of one incident does not preclude there having been others. I don't think that assists you. However, what we can say with certainty is that the provision of a single incident does not demonstrate multiple incidents. Clearly the cited references do not support general statements of the type made. Furthermore the reference cited in relation to intolerance is so weak as to be worthless in any case. --Horace 06:42, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
(EC2)AD, I was with you up to that has more to do with them than with RW. That is one of the forms that the intolerance takes, akin to "if you disagree with me, then you are necessarily at fault." The dismissal may have a different form, but it is still dismissal. There are RW editors who openly dismiss anything I have to say about pretty much anything simply because I do not subscribe to materialism. Which is worse; pretending that true dissentors do not exist (the CP way) or pretending that they are non compos mentis (the RW way)? LowKey 06:50, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Dammit! I'm afraid I agree with Loki on that part of the edit. --Horace 06:55, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Tolerance doesn't mean automatically agreeing with someone or pretending you think they might have good ideas. No one disagrees with JimJast or Maratrean because it's them presenting the ideas, as you claim, but rather they just disagree with the ideas they present. There might be some level of general dislike for the latter (okay, there definitely is) but he is still completely tolerated. No one deletes their edits, people engage with them and argue with them, and so on. That is the very definition of tolerance. RW is a rowdy place full of outspoken people - cursing and insults are not just permitted, but they're part of the very tradition that prizes direct expression and freethought. So inevitably reactions to ideas that people tend not to agree with or to people that are disliked are going to be rowdy and full of that same cursing and insults. But those ideas and people are still tolerated. I'm not sure what alternative there could be, aside from a complete reform of RW culture to be civil and pleasant at all times.
Regardless, I just wanted to explain my edit. If your only issues are with my words here on the talk page, that's fine.--AD 07:30, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Banning/blocking is not the sum of wiki intolerance. Merely one form of it. Abuse, harrassment, dismissal and ridicule are other forms. I am not referring to dismissing or ridiculing an individual's post based on the content of that post, but to dismissing or ridiculing the individual regardless of their post based on pretty anything else. Such harrassment has been undertaken for the express purpose of driving away an editor that is unliked. LowKey 00:10, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
To say "tolerance means agreeing with what I say" is a strawman, I'm not aware of anyone saying it. But, I think to tolerate an idea, you don't have to agree with it, but you have to do more than just merely not prohibit it. If you are presented with an idea you disagree with, but nonetheless you try to respect the proponent of the idea, and try to take it as seriously as you can, and refrain from engaging in mockery and ridicule, then you are getting closer to real tolerance of dissent. You can be assertive in your rejection of the idea (e.g. "I think your idea is based on a complete misinterpretation of the evidence, and I suspect it is a product of wishful thinking"), but that while strongly worded is still very different from "I think you are a stupid fool, and I never bother reading any of your posts, because the moment I see your name I know it is not worth my time" or "You are a #$^#$^$ ^#$^#$^!". When unpopular opinions are frequently dismissed with mockery and ridicule and personal attacks, that is not very tolerant.
Editors here at ASK, like Philip or LowKey, I may agree with them on some things, but on other issues they do strongly disagree with me, and I don't think anyone's hiding that. But, I've never felt from them anything but respect and seriousness, despite our very deep disagreements. Whereas, at RW, some editors do treat me respectfully and seriously, even though they completely disagree with my ideas (of late I must mention UHM and Brxbrx as two editors who I have to thank for standing up for me, and ListenerX in some ways also), many others just respond with mockery and ridicule.
You suggest that cursing and insults somehow prizes "freethought". How does insulting each other make our thoughts more free? It doesn't. Asking people to express themselves civilly doesn't harm our freedom of thought, on the contrary it enhances it; insults tend to lead to groupthink, the loudest, coarsest voices drowning out all opposition.
Saying that the only alternative is "a complete reform of RW culture to be civil and pleasant at all times" is a false dichotomy, as if our only choices are anarchy and perfection. I don't think any website, RW or not, can ever be perfectly civil or perfectly pleasant. But, there is no doubt that RW could easily be a lot more pleasant and polite and civil than it is. And that would be good for freedom of thought, good for tolerance, good for rationality. Maratrean 11:31, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I am not interested in this conversation.--AD 11:58, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Then why not simply not respond at all? Maratrean 12:01, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

(OD & EC)Horace, the first edit was intended as a description of scientism, but yes it is a critical description. I have toned it down, but would be happy to do so a little more - and perhaps change the orderign of the sentence a little. Bear with me on that; I will make a bit of a change and see what you think. I do think it fair to use a descriptor that is not a self-descriptor if the descriptor is accurate, but my intended change may address that. As to the single/multiple/general, I had attempted to make it less general than it was initially, but still show something that it practiced bt many editors. I did not mean that we only know of one incident; just that we only currently have one incident listed as an example. I have been personally dismissed and abused on countless occasions (well at least I never counted them). This has included vandalism my own talk page with imagery offensive to me. We had complaints about multiple examples, and I agreed with those complaints on the grounds that we do not want the article to a list of individual grievances. This current objection seems to be requiring the list of individual grievances to support the general trend, or at the very least the openly tolerated excesses. The article still has a long way to go, so maybe the best way forward is to drop each particularly contentious "issue" into a research page and pile the references there. What do you think? LowKey 07:09, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary defines scientism as "The belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc. of the physical and biological sciences are equally appropriate and essential in all other disciplines including the humanities and the social sciences." While they might not agree with the label, quite a few RW editors express viewpoints that clearly meet that definition. To put it in RW jargon, scientism is the claim that there are no "ways of knowing" other than the scientific. The more they attack "other ways of knowing" (i.e. other ways of knowing than science), the more they are endorsing scientism. Maratrean 07:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Name "them". --Horace 07:26, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Look at the scientism article, especially the older versions of it, before TallMan and myself made it a bit saner. Look at some of the opinions expressed on the associated talk page. Look at the article on "other ways of knowing". I can't recall specifically every occasion in which an RW editor has endorsed scientism, but I'd say very many of them do. How about we propose a poll, let's say the options are as follows:
  1. The natural sciences are the only valid source of knowledge, and other purported sources of knowledge are invalid
  2. There are other valid sources of knowledge besides the natural sciences, and these are to be judged by their own standards, independent of those of the natural sciences
  3. There are other valid sources of knowledge besides the natural science, but the natural sciences are the golden standard in comparison to which all other sources of knowledge are to be judged
Which of these three options would most RW editors pick? I'd suggest 1 or 3 would be the most popular, with 2 not getting many votes at RW. What do you think the most common answers would be?
(While guessing the answers is one approach, another would be to actually run the poll and see what results we get.) Maratrean 11:12, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I guess that after you have undertaken your poll you will be able to deal with the fact tag relating to your assertion. --Horace 00:16, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

CPalmer's change - user-owned vs community-owned talk page

I think the issue is more complicated than simply user-owned v.s. community-owned talk pages. There is a wide range of different possible talk page norms available, with differing degrees of discretion for the talk page owner involved. RW's official policy is that you can't remove other's talk page posts simply because you dislike them (e.g. you have a personal dislike of the poster, the question is a reasonable one but you don't want to ask it), while if the post is "trolling" then its removal is allowed ([1] users are permitted to delete posts containing personal attacks or trolling from their own talk pages, being responsible for any abuse of this permission). Of course people disagree on what is "trolling", and the term is frequently abused as a way to silence dissent, but one common definition is posts which don't seriously contribute to the conversation, but simply serve to annoy or hurt or offence, and posting irrelevant images of nudity on a talk page certainly falls under that. So, I'm not sure the problem is really that RW views user pages as community property, as CPalmer suggests — you could have talk pages as community property, and give the talk page owner the right to remove offensive posts, with some dispute resolution process in case it is disputed if the talk page owner's claim the post was offensive is disputed — and avoid this problem. Actually, RW's policies have all these things already — the real problem is not the wording of the policies, it is that those in power feel free to ignore the policies whenever they feel like it. Maratrean 06:56, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

No, as I understand it the issue is one of ownership. You seem to think you have more rights over your "own" talk page than anyone else does. At that site, you don't. The rule isn't that you can remove "trolling" from your talk page, it's that anyone can remove trolling from any page. Although if that rule were thoroughly enforced, there might not be much of a site left!
To summarise, RW is a silly, ribald site. Porgnography can crop up at unexpected times, and that includes your talk page, and you just have to put up with it, or even try to enjoy it.--CPalmer 08:09, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Bis! --Horace 08:22, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
The current guidelines at RW give a user special powers over their own talk page, separate from any general power to remove trolling. RW's Community Standards state: users should not delete or change another user's comments on a talk or discussion page, with the exceptions of obviously vile comments made for the purposes of trolling, and of a user on his/her own talk-page, as described above. So as you can see, there are two separate exceptions to the general principle about not removing others' comments, one a general one which anyone can exercise on any talk page, and one a special one which a user can only apply on their own talk page, which is specified as: users are permitted to delete posts containing personal attacks or trolling from their own talk pages, being responsible for any abuse of this permission.. Of course, the reality is that RW's official guidelines are worth very little, especially given the magical ignore them whenever you feel like it clause at the start These are the guidelines defined by the RationalWiki community. These are not site rules but rather a list of standards we as a community try to live up to. Please do your best to live up to them. But still, the clauses specifically about talk pages are different from what you think they are, although you are right it doesn't mean that much in practice. Maratrean 11:05, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, yeah. But as I understand it the "trolling" exemption was only added after a lot of endless wrangling as a fudge-type compromise. As such, it's no wonder it contradicts the other stuff about talk pages being community property. So the site's guidelines are contradictory and ineffective; so what? That just makes more of a fool of anyone who thinks they can use the site and not be exposed to porno, nonsense, insults and whatever else its posse of fifteen-year-old pseuds wants to throw their way.--CPalmer 11:24, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Maybe some use it because, while your description is accurate with respect to very many editors there, there are some who aren't quite like that; and, admitting all its grave flaws, one can always hope one might manage to nudge it in a better direction. Maratrean 11:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Quite so. If I want to go somewhere, and it's raining, then I go if I really want to. But I don't complain when I get wet.--CPalmer 12:40, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but (to use another metaphor entirely) if the sign on the doors says "Sceptical Debate Society" and one enters to find the primate house in full, poo-flinging riot then one is probably likely to say "Well, this isn't what was advertised."LowKey 02:01, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and then you'd leave. You wouldn't stand among the monkeys saying "hey, stop flinging that poo there."--CPalmer 08:05, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Maybe with some prodding the monkeys might evolve into human beings, and stop flinging the poo around. Maratrean 09:07, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anyone on any side of the debate thinks that evolution can be stimulated by prodding. If you prod them, they're most likely to start flinging it at you.--CPalmer 13:02, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, that was a bad attempt at a joke :) Maratrean 19:10, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

"...ridicule is favoured as a cheap substitute for reasoned engagement".

That, in itself, is just a cheap shot. My version was an even-handed way of dealing with the issue. The version reinstated by Philip surely reflects his opinion but it does not reflect mine. This is not about opinion it is about an encyclopaedic article. --Horace 23:12, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Ah, the version that you most recently removed didn't say that. It was in my opinion more even handed than your version. "Robust debate" is a misleading euphemism for what goes on. LowKey 23:40, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
It is not a misleading euphemism at all. It is exactly what goes on. Debate is vigorous. I acknowledge that the version I most recently removed did not conform exactly to the above quote. That was my error. However, the version that you have now reinstated (" RationalWiki is a very uncivil place, where impoliteness abounds, and ridicule is favoured over reasoned engagement by many editors.") is not much better. Many people would disagree with that characterisation. Most of the site users I dare say. I regard your version as giving an utterly false impression of the site. In any case, your version belongs in a blog. It is opinion. --Horace 00:00, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
It is really no more of an opinion than your own version. "Robust Debate" connotes more than style; it implies substance. The point is that quite often the style may be robust (or vigorous as you now put it) but substance is absent. I have been called names, ridiculed for unrelated posts at aSK, accused of seeking to overthrow the government (!), accused of dangerous mental illness, had offensive images posted on my talk page, had my own talk posts edited to include ridicule and obscenity, had my presence questioned (indeed been "invited to leave") and other such behaviour in response to my own reasoned and dispassionate posts in lie of reasoned engagement. That is just my own treatment. Admittedly not all of that is "ridicule"; much of it is abusive intolerance. LowKey 00:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I used the term "vigorous" because it is one of the definitions of "robust" and it reflects my experience of the site very well. I was not changing my position (which is what you seem to be implying by your use of the phrase "as you now put it"). I acknowledge that my version contains some opinion. By necessity any general description of a diverse site must. I merely say that my version contains less opinion than your preferred version. It is more even-handed. You and Maratrean seem fixated on your own experiences at the site. I am trying to provide a more measured and considered description. If I were to base such a description purely on my own experience I would have written that the members of the site are polite and amusing. However, I recognise that my experience is not universal. All I ask is that you and Maratrean also recognise that. --Horace 00:40, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I am not fixated on my own experience but merely using it for examples because I can do that from memory and on-the-fly for the purposes of discussion. I have not poked about in every darkened corner of RW, but at the majority of talk pages that I have read there is abuse including incivility and ridicule. Maybe this goes back to the aforementioned dissent-intolerance. I do dispute that your version more even-handed and contains less opinion. I was not attempting to cast aspersions over your use of "vigorous". I was merely acknowledging that was another term in use, and including it in my reponse. I do apologise for any perceived disparagement; such was not intended. The two terms are synonymous but not identical. "Vigorous" is I think more accurate than "robust" because it is more related to style/method without implications of substance. LowKey 01:42, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Debate is vigorous. Debate may be, but saying that "Robust debate is common at Rationalwiki..." implies that debate is common, whereas ridicule etc. is more common than (reasoned) debate. As Bradley says, "Robust debate" is a misleading euphemism for what goes on.
If I were to base such a description purely on my own experience I would have written that the members of the site are polite and amusing. I think that comment only serves to prove how unrelated to reality your opinion is.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:54, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
That may well be Horace's real experience, but it certainly does not appear to be the "normal" experience. Also, many may not care at all if they are ridiculed etc but that does not nullify its occurence. LowKey 01:42, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, lets take a poll of Rationalwiki users to see how they would characterise the site. I doubt your current version would garner many votes but if we are after the "normal" experience then I guess that is the way to go. I shall see how many Rationalwiki users I can get to come and vote. --Horace 01:48, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
That sounds a bit like polling Americans to see how ignorant of the rest of the world they think they are. They simply wouldn't realise how much this might be the case. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:05, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I just need to get this straight. 1. We disagree on the level of reasonable debate and the level of ridicule that takes place on Rationalwiki. 2. You ridicule my description of my experience there. 3. LowKey talks about the "normal" experience with the site. 4. I suggest a poll of users to determine how the actual users would characterise the site. 5. You respond by saying that Rationalwiki editors are incapable of accurately describing their experience with the site. They are like ignorant Americans apparently. Did I get that right? The only people who can comment on the character of the site appear to be you, LowKey and Maratrean. All other views are clearly the result of ignorance or delusion. --Horace 02:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
1. Yes. 2. "ridicule" is a bit strong, but I do question the accuracy of your impression (not denying that it may indeed be your impression). 5. I didn't say that they are incapable, let alone incapable of accurately describing their experience. I'm saying that people who find abuse and vilification acceptable are hardly likely to describe abuse and vilification as negative. The only people who can comment on the character of the site are ones who have some sort of standard against which to judge. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:14, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Intriguing. Who are these venerable people "who have some sort of standard against which to judge"? --Horace 05:36, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Christians, at least, because God's standards define right and wrong. Although most atheists adopt the standards of their society, which often means that they adopt Christian standards (to a greater or lesser extent), atheism as such has no basis for defining right and wrong. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 06:00, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I can't believe I'm getting into this, but... Christians have never been opposed to name-calling. Paul of Tarsus frequently called people fools in his epistles, as one example. See Romans 1:22, and note that this is distinct from his later calls to be "fools for Christ's sake," as in 1 Corinthians 4:10 - in several places, Paul is calling people who fail to see the glory of God and repent "fools." He's moving in the direct tradition of Psalms 14:1, where those who say in their hearts that there is no God are "fools." While one might oppose Matthew 5:22 to this, Jesus specifically says "angry without cause" and he further presents a hierarchy of abuse that seems to imply that the lower two levels are not actually sinful, even if you may be "in danger of the council" if you're slamming out the Aramaic slurs.
There is a clear Biblical case for a level of verbal directness, even if your personal interpretation differs. For generations, few Christians would have thought twice about calling a Jew a filthy term. Even today, many Christians would agree with Paul and call nonbelievers "fools," although others are more progressive and will only say that they think nonbelievers are making a foolish mistake or a similarly softened version.
So to set you and yours up as the only ones fit to judge the acceptable level of debate is ignoring both traditional and contemporary Christian tradition, neither of which shrink from rude directness when they think its warranted. Perhaps more humility is warranted - an admission that Christians like yourself are only mortal, and your interpretation of the requirements of civility for community is imperfect, and perhaps some compromise might be in order to fairly express the views of both members of RationalWiki as well as its harsh critics like Maratrean and LowKey.--AD 06:52, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
The problem with your argument, is that the worst that Paul or Jesus could muster, sounds very tame in comparison to a lot of what is said on RW. I don't think anyone is demanding perfect civility, but RW is a very long way away from that; no one expects it to become perfect, but that does not mean it cannot make significant improvements compared to where it is now. Status quo vs. perfection is a false choice which ignores the vast space of possibility between those two extremes. Maratrean 07:40, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the problem dear Maratrean, lies in your argument (although, in fairness it was due to Philip, not you). The question being debated here was whether Rationalwiki users could accurately described their own experiences on Rationalwiki. Philip, for reasons known only to himself, extended that proposition to whether they knew the difference between right and wrong. An issue which is utterly irrelevant, as I am sure you will agree. AD responded to that proposition and you, in turn, responded to his response. Your point in response, by the way, appears to be one of degree only. The real point is that Philip was wrong to extend the proposition. My proposed poll is a legitimate way of determining the issue. --Horace 08:25, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

If we turn this into a philosophical or theological argument about the nature of morality/ethics, etc., we may get a bit too far afield.
I think, there is some merit in your idea of a poll, but one needs to be careful how it is worded. The problem with polls, is that by picking the questions differently, one can get very different answers.
Suppose someone ran a poll on RW, and gave options like:
  1. We should try to take creationism seriously, even if we disagree with it; we should engage with it reasonably, rather than resorting to mockery and ridicule
  2. Creationism is so stupid there is no point even trying to take it seriously. Engaging with it rationally is a lost cause, mockery and ridicule are the only options.
("Creationism" just serves here as one example, a placeholder of sorts, for ideas many RW editors strongly reject.)
If they answered the poll honestly, this poll could give us real insight into the attitudes of the average RW editor. Maratrean 09:02, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
How about if we had a poll that was more to the point? How about a poll which asked: Which of the following sentences characterises Rationalwiki more accurately?
  1. "RationalWiki is a very uncivil place, where impoliteness abounds, and ridicule is favoured over reasoned engagement by many editors".
  2. "Robust debate is common at Rationalwiki and incivility is not uncommon".
Such a poll would actually provide a resolution to the current dispute. That would actually be a useful outcome rather than a mere "insight into attitudes". --Horace 09:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a difference between a poll which tests attitudes, and a poll which asks for self-labelling. Suppose we wanted to find out whether people were racist. If you ask them directly, "Are you a racist?", very many would say no. But, if instead you asked them some questions meant to detect possibly racist attitudes, you might find that some of those who claimed not to be racist actually have attitudes that suggest they are racist despite their claims not to be. And just in case anyone tries, I'm not suggesting that incivility or rudeness on RW are somehow equivalent to racism, or suggesting that RW editors are racist, or trying to start a discussion about what constitutes racism — my simple point is people's own self-image isn't always accurate, but with careful question design we can try to reach somewhat beyond the surface levels of self-perception. Maratrean 09:47, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
As long as you get the result that you want I am sure that you will be entirely satisfied. --Horace 10:06, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
And the same could be said of you. Maratrean 10:10, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Really? I proposed asking a straight question. You proposed reading intent into the answers to indirect questions by some undefined method. When you think about it it's not really the same. --Horace 10:21, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Your proposal is like polling communist party members "Does the communist party support democracy?", and then concluding that since they all said yes, it must support democracy. Just because you choose to describe yourself in a certain way, doesn't automatically make your self-description true. Maratrean 11:00, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess it's only you, LowKey and Philip who can be trusted to answer a question honestly. --Horace 22:23, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
And whose to say the communist party members who say their party is democratic are being dishonest? They may well honestly believe that; but if they do, it seems likely they do so through an understanding of "democracy" rather different from ours. So, we should never just take what people say at face value (including me), but rather try to understand what they actually mean by what they say. Maratrean 08:08, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Christians have never been opposed to name-calling. It's a pity, then, that your examples don't support your claim.
See Romans 1:22 "Fools" here is a contrasting state to being wise. It's a legitimate use of the word, and is not name-calling.
While one might oppose Matthew 5:22 to this, Jesus specifically says "angry without cause"...Actually,, "without cause" is not in most translations, as it doesn't exist in most manuscripts. But I think the key here is "angry"—many if not most of the biblical use of "fool" are general ones describing a particular type of person; they are not said in anger. Also, most if not all are not said to a particular person. Much of the name-calling that RW people engage in is vitriol, pure and simple, and often directed at an individual.
... Psalms 14:1, where those who say in their hearts that there is no God are "fools." How would you describe someone who denies the obvious? There is a difference between name-calling and description. Someone who does something foolish is, in that context, a fool. That does not amount to name-calling.
There is a clear Biblical case for a level of verbal directness... Absolutely! But that's not the same as name-calling, where one is simply abusing a person because they disagree with them.
For generations, few Christians would have thought twice about calling a Jew a filthy term. I'm not convinced. Although there have been some Christians who have taken that sort of attitude, I'm a long way from being convinced that it was typical.
So to set you and yours up as the only ones fit to judge the acceptable level of debate is ignoring both traditional and contemporary Christian tradition... So who should judge, or are you suggesting not judging at all? Assuming that you're not suggesting that there should be no standards, someone has to judge, and surely that should be those who run the site or are in positions of authority in it.
Perhaps more humility is warranted - an admission that Christians like yourself are only mortal, and your interpretation of the requirements of civility for community is imperfect... Okay. I admit that I'm only mortal, and my interpretation of the requirements of civility for community is imperfect. I've never suggested otherwise, actually. So where to now? Again, does that mean that nobody should do any judging at all, because nobody's perfect? Yet us imperfect humans were told to judge righteously (John 7:24).
...perhaps some compromise might be in order to fairly express the views of both members of RationalWiki as well as its harsh critics like Maratrean and LowKey. Are you suggesting (in principle) that people adopting Christian standards should compromise with atheists as to what is considered acceptable? John 7:24 doesn't say to "Judge according to consensus of all views", does it?
The question being debated here was whether Rationalwiki users could accurately described their own experiences on Rationalwiki. Actually, it was whether RW users could accurately describe what RW is like; it wasn't about their own experiences specifically.
Philip, for reasons known only to himself, extended that proposition to whether they knew the difference between right and wrong. Because the proposition ultimately gets down to right and wrong. Are RW users doing the wrong thing in the way they conduct themselves (name-calling, swearing, etc.), or is that a right thing to do?
Such a poll would actually provide a resolution to the current dispute. Why would it? It would tell us which proposition RW user most agreed with, not necessarily which one was more correct. The point is that we are after an accurate description, not opinions.
You proposed reading intent into the answers to indirect questions by some undefined method. It's quite typical of questionnaires that questions are asked in different ways to try and determine real, underlying, attitudes, rather than just asking the person what they think their attitude is.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 04:59, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing the point?

Reading the discussion above, it seems largely preoccupied with how users behave on talk pages. This is all very well, but surely the casual visitor is likely to be more interested in actual article pages? Therefore, I think our article should discuss the style of content pages first. I suggest some text as foolows:

RationalWiki allows or even encourages the use of ridicule as well as reasoned debate. In articles about people or philosophies which the site does not agree with, the approach taken is very variable, with some subjects treated with fairly reasoned opposition, others with pure (often offensive) ridicule, and others with a mixture.

Focusing on talk pages is very small potatoes, and is bound to lead to addressing individual grievances, which really aren't very important for an encyclopædia article.--CPalmer 14:11, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

You raise a good question, but I wonder how many people really go to RW for its articles. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 05:01, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
perhaps if asked nicely a RW asmin would produce some statistics for you . Hamster 05:34, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Pretty please? What statistics, precisely, would be appropriate? Page views? Visits from search engines? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:46, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Good question. I have asked. Maratrean 09:08, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
What statistics, precisely, would be appropriate? mainspace page views for the articles and not talk pages, although a lot of good stuff is in talk pages. Hamster 19:55, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
And the figures are here, see the above link, kudos to Nx. Slightly under 50% of total pageviews for mainspace articles. Opinions will differ on how we classify the other namespaces - e.g. "Conservapedia" contains detailed articles about Conservapedia, maybe that also counts as an "article" space. Maratrean 22:40, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, perhaps my scepticism was misplaced. I'm really still not sure what to make of all this, though. I note that CPalmer did mention the "casual visitor", and I guess most of those would probably go for the articles, even if that was for articles in the CP namespace. Does that therefore mean that this article should concentrate on those people? Perhaps so, although I don't think that's clear-cut. But as I said, CPalmer asks a good question, and perhaps we need to think a bit more about which aspect(s) of RW this article concentrates on, or at least be clearer which aspects are being discussed in the article.
Having said that, I think some of the criticisms apply to the article space as well, and I note that of the three references for the claim about CP admnins, one is to a mainspace article, one is to a CP space article, and one is to a Fun space article.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:08, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
an encyclopedia article should cover all aspects of the titled item at least to some degree. If the article is to be purely critisisms then it should be retitled to reflect that. It would also be appropriate in the article to point out that some complaints are of the established site rules to which a sysop has agreed (if indirectly) to support. Hamster 17:02, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
CPalmer's suggestion was about what the article should cover first; nobody was suggesting that we don't cover some aspects at all. The article should not be purely criticisms. I would suggest that you add uncritical information yourself, but then the article is already not just criticism. And of course you can always add more uncritical information. I'm not sure that I follow your last sentence. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:55, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
fyi Maratrean is/was a sysop at RW. His criticism about a users talk page has been answered several times at RW as by RW site standards the talk page is a public page and deleteions generally are not permitted. He has also taken the step of removing the site logo from his page and replacing it with the purported logo of his religion. Hamster 03:53, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
@Hamster - See the section "CPalmer's change - user-owned vs community-owned talk page", where I point out that if you read RW's Community Standards, they say "users are permitted to delete posts containing personal attacks or trolling from their own talk pages, being responsible for any abuse of this permission", and in my view I have been complying with that. Two moderators, AD and Blue, have both made statements which appear to agree with my interpretation, and a number of other editors have expressed their agreement with that viewpoint also. As to replacing the site logo, you will notice that other users (such as Human) have been doing that for ages, and there is no explicit rule against doing so. (I learnt how to do so by copying the code on Human's user page.) If you don't agree with that practice, why don't you propose an amendment to RW's community standards to prohibit it, and if such an amendment is passed, I will without objection remove the special logo from my user page (and would expect the same to be done with respect to Human's pages, and any other user's doing the same). Maratrean 09:01, 5 September 2011 (UTC)


It's time that older discussion on this page was archived. My question is, should we include the "RW Moles Declaration" in the archive, or leave it on this page? Archiving would prevent anybody else adding their name, but then nobody has for over twelve months. It's not normal discussion, and it would seem appropriate to leave it here, but others might see it differently. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:50, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Done.--Colonel Sanders 15:08, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
And I suppose that, by the way you've done it, you've implicitly answered the question!! Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:27, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes. But, would you rather have it here? If so, I can put it back.--Colonel Sanders 15:31, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I honestly don't know which is best, which is why I asked what others thought. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:35, 5 September 2011 (UTC)


Critics of RationalWiki would be well-advised to have a look at "Proposal: threats of violence and urging people to commit suicide" (sorry about the foul language, which for once is mostly my fault, but I hope you can appreciate this is a topic which I tend to get rather emotional about), where you will find myself arguing that RW's community standards should be amended to prohibit telling people to commit suicide. One would have thought this would be a proposal which everyone could agree on — but not on RW, where two moderators (one of whom, AD, is one of the most prolific of RW moderators) come out to oppose the proposal. What planet are they living on? Maratrean 08:23, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

What can I say? What else would one expect from RW? In other circumstances, a case could be made to not include the bit about suicide, but as you pointed out, this was something that had been said, unlike some of the other red herring suggestions. And you make a good point about the fact that some people have committed suicide (partly) as a result of Internet taunts. As for the Urban Dictionary thing... apart from your legitimate comment questioning its authority, it doesn't actually say that it is "just a figure of speech". Rather, it merely documents what the acronym means. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 14:11, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Of course you conveniently forgot to mention that the original comment that sparked this was condemned by everyone as being in bad taste. The reason your proposal was rejected is not because we think suicide is funny or inciting others to commit suicide is super cool. It's because we don't want to open ourselves up to more concern trolling and wikilawyering from you. Röstigraben sums it up perfectly. But don't let the facts get in the way of your efforts to smear RationalWiki and its editors. -- Nx / talk 16:46, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
There's a whole lot of stuff he "forgot to mention", because there's no point in repeating it all here. So your point is...?
As for the reason his proposal was rejected, there appear to be many reasons. The one you cite here was one of them, but you "forgot to mention" that the first objection was "it's still within the bounds of legality", a point Maratrean refuted. You also "forgot to mention" that another reason was that it was "just a figure of speech.", yet the authority for that didn't stand up to scrutiny. You also "forgot to mention" that Maratrean addressed the wikilawyering answer, by pointing out that there were already proposals to nominate other specific concerns which apparently hadn't arisen, yet there was an apparently-inconsistent refusal to accept this particular one, despite it already occurring.
I'm not saying that RW should have adopted Maratrean's proposal—a case could be made that you shouldn't start listing individual offences, for example. But clearly much of the reason for objection was invalid, and the manner of rejection was abusive and crude.
Maratrean doesn't need to expend any effort to "smear" RW. All he has to do is link to a discussion like the one being discussed here. The "smear" comes from reading what RW people themselves wrote.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:04, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
People who live in the reality based community don't need to expend any effort to smear creationists, and in particular Philip Rayment. All they have to do is link to a discussion like those Philip Rayment dominates on this website. The smear comes from reading what Philip Rayment writes about creationism. Teh Terrible Asp 02:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
perhaps Philip, you or Naratrean would care to give your facts to the US authorities and have RW members charged since in several states encouraging suicide is a crime . Names, dates, diff links would be fine. Perhaps the FBI ? Hamster 03:27, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
That's a great idea. It's a savage charge, but he at least implied it. I haven't read all his nonsense because frankly even thinking about Maratrean makes me a little tired. I encourage him to stop merely trolling us but put his money where his mouth is and call the cops wherever he's identified this odious conduct as a crime. Best of luck there, chooch. Teh Terrible Asp 04:13, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I think the term "concern troll" basically just means "someone who has opinions we don't like". And "wikilawyering" is simply what you call trying to get the rules enforced roughly as written, as opposed to a do whatever we feel like right now free for all. If you want trolling, well, posting pictures of male genitalia everywhere, that's trolling. Maratrean 10:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. Actually, it's well defined concept, and certainly a very useful one for wikis. Sterile 15:34, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
People who live in the reality based community don't need to expend any effort to smear creationists... People who live in reality-based community don't smear creationists, because they know that creation is reality. Those that smear creationists believe that life can come from non-life, something from nothing, and so on. Of course, you are overstating my importance in saying that I represent creationists generally. As for linking to me being a smear, I don't believe that my comments put me in a bad light except to bigots who think anything a creationist says is wrong by virtue of him being a creationist.
perhaps Philip, you or Naratrean would care to give your facts to the US authorities... Perhaps we could. But your comment misses the point that even if the comment(s) on RW aren't bad enough to be considered against the law, surely it would be a good idea to to dissuade people from even coming close to breaching the law. And of course you overlook the point that it was claimed at RW that encouraging someone to commit suicide wasn't illegal. At least you know acknowledge that your RW mate was wrong, even if you'd perversely prefer to criticise those who are right than those who are wrong.
Sigh. Actually, it's well defined concept... And yet it is obvious that his main point was how it is used on RW of him, not what the actual definition is. In other word, particular labels may have defined meanings, but are those labels being used correctly, or merely to shut someone up?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Sterile, if you read the WP definition you linked to, it defines "concern troll" as "A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold". How is my actual point of view opposed to the one I claim to hold? I have been quite open about my beliefs, especially on RW — unless you are suggesting that my real beliefs are other than what I say they are, in which case I'd love to know what you think my real beliefs are. The other alternative, of course, is that "concern troll" has its own meaning on RW, separate from that mentioned in the WP article — such as, expressing opinions people disagree with? Maratrean 09:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The WP definition, reading a bit further, is that a "concern troll" is someone who expresses concern about a group (RW in this case) when really they don't care about it. I guess it could be argued that, in making your proposal, you were expressing concern for RW's well-being, when in fact you wouldn't really care if RW folded tomorrow. Whether that's accurate or not, though, I'm not really qualified to say. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 15:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean's interest in the subject may very well be genuine. I can't read his mind. If he's not a concern troll, he's indistinguishable from one. Teh Terrible Asp 16:47, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
If determining whether or not one is a concern troll depends on being able to read one's mind, is it ever a fair criticism to make? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:51, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
It's difficult to assume good faith with you. The point is: If he's not a concern troll, he's indistinguishable from one. If your question isn't just JAQing off, there's no such thing as a concern troll according to you anyway. Good news! Teh Terrible Asp 03:39, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't want RW to close, I don't want to destroy it. I want it to be a place where people of widely differing views can engage in fair, vigorous and rigorous discussion. To put it on a more serious footing — which does not exclude some good-natured humour or horseplay, but there is a difference between humour and childish bullying. Maratrean 08:09, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
The point is: If he's not a concern troll, he's indistinguishable from one. If it's not possible to tell the difference between the real thing and a facsimile, then perhaps one shouldn't be declaring someone to be the real thing.
...there's no such thing as a concern troll according to you anyway. Huh? I never indicated that. Just because it may not be possible to determine if X exists doesnt' mean that it doesn't exist.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 09:04, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

User pages

User talk pages on RationalWiki are community property, rather than the property of the Users with whom they are associated. A talk page is a record of what was said and who said it and as such comprises a record of activity. The user is free to archive anything on the page, and there is a limited permission for removing trollish comments.

Aren't userpages on most wikis community property? This is certainly the case on wikipedia. Same with talkpages on all wikis, threads in forums are like that too. Even on wikipedia, users are permitted to archive anything.--Myrtonos+@ 12:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Likely that statement was, as much as anything, to draw a contrast to the situation on Conservapedia, which RationalWiki was originally set up to oppose. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 23:35, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Do you mean that Conserapedists do "own" their userpages, technically one's userpage on any wiki belongs to the site owner, just as all other pages do.--Myrtonos+@ 03:08, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
At Conservapedia the userscan delete, edit or oversight the contents as they see fit. At Rationalwiki talkpages and comments must not be deleted - only archived unless it contains racism etc. Ace McWicked (talk) 03:10, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
And on wikipedia, users are permitted to remove comments from their talkpages except for warnings.--Myrtonos+@ 04:17, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


Some changes - mostly it was tightening the language but:

  • Reflecting on reason and applying it at large is too difficult in such a large community hence why bother reflecting on it?
  • RW is not always uncivil while civility and politeness is a relative term.
  • Not all dissenters have their opinions dismissed without cause.
  • Maratreamism is not a relgion - it's a made up theology held by a single person.
  • Accusations of CP sysops being pedophiles is not the norm and is frowned on.

Ace McWicked (talk) 02:23, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Dissenters have always actually been pretty well embraced. Maratrean was. Nobody could stand him, but that didn't stop him from posting walls of text that a few people responded to. He was griefing in this article because people generally loathe him and treated him accordingly. There are a few editors who get treated badly. One is a genuinely bad person who has done bad things to RW, so he deserves it. The pedophilia thing was an outrage, appeared only a few times, and, once I learned of it, was scrubbed. Teh Terrible Asp (talk) 03:27, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I sort-of-know and generally respect both of you but when you both make confident statements that are just plain untrue, I struggle with what to make of it. You both have long experience with RW, so it is hard to believe that you could be ignorant of the long-standing and consistent open insinuations of paedophilia. A CP editor was even given a nickname, widely used over a long period of time without any such "frowning upon" or "scrubbing", which presumes such behaviour. The article about him still has a section devoted to it.
Asp, "Dissenters have always actually been pretty well embraced," is likewise simply untrue. Unless some of those words don't mean what I think they mean (although I think they do). <re-engaging lurking device>LowKey (talk) 07:31, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
You both have long experience with RW, so it is hard to believe that you could be ignorant of the long-standing and consistent open insinuations of paedophilia. characterising someone in such a way is wrong, it will always be wrong. And, Bradley, I'll bet you'll find that every time such insinuations have been made there is someone saying "that's wrong" in some form or another. As stated in the article the site is rather anarchistic in structure so it would be incorrect to say RW makes such insinuations, rather people on RW have made such insinuations. Ace McWicked (talk) 09:41, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Hey Bradley. Long time no talk. How's shakes? Re: dissenters, they actually are welcomed when they come to endlessly debate. That doesn't mean that people like me don't finally question their good faith or sanity and tell them to copulate with themselves now and then. Maratrean is an example of someone who was essentially universally disliked, who "dissented" absolute rubbish at times, and whose opinions were given full consideration by some of our readiest pontificators. Re: pedophilia, there was always "frowning" on it when it happened. I guess I should have been clear that I spent considerable time going through mainspace making sure to get rid of openly defamatory stuff. Some of those claims were more than just uncivil, they were possibly unlawful, and that is what I was concerned about. You know I don't give a hoot about simple name-calling if someone has a discernible basis for it. I can't control or remove what people said on talk pages, but you'll find me and others admonishing people who called CP editors things like "pedo." There have only been a few such instances in the last several years. Teh Terrible Asp (talk) 15:02, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
You both make your best points in your respective closing sentences. I disagree quite strongly about being welcomed and about editors speaking out, but those are my historical experiences. I acknowledge that the same may not be case now (per Asp). I also agree that the article should not simply say "RW does x", because it is both too generalising and ambiguous. I think it fair to talk about the pattern of discourse withing the community, as long as it is the pattern and the "the community" is faily delinieated. I've said stuff about that on this talk page before. I have no problem with an article that is quite critical of RW but I have spoken about it becoming an "attack" article or a grievance list.
Hey, Asp. Shakes ain't great. Currently, I am a 2nd class, "differently enfranchised" citizen of what is rapidly becoming a police state (and I use the term informedly)
I always felt you weren't treated well at RW, Brad, and may have said so (can't quite remember). Anyway, what's this second class citizen business? Tony Abbott is a mysoginistic knob end. Ace McWicked (talk) 23:36, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I think I was crummy to him when I was having a hard time quitting drugs, which is weird because we'd had a nice correspondence (I think that was the timeline). Not proud of that, but I think I apologized. If not, I regret that too.
What is this second class nonsense, Bradley? I will inflict what savageries you will not on your tormentors. Teh Terrible Asp (talk) 23:42, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Maratreanism not a religion ! Terror Trinka and Bacu, the great protoprophet Zanarcy not real ! what do I do with all the bat bites and kitty kibble ? Perhaps PJR would welcome the entire pantheon here ? Hamster (talk) 00:00, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Dissenters have always actually been pretty well embraced. Maratrean was. Nobody could stand him… That looks like a contradiction right there. You could say that Maratrean was tolerated, but "embraced"? When Nobody could stand him?
Tony Abbott is a mysoginistic… Evidence? Gillard maliciously accused him of that, but the evidence says otherwise.
Maratreanism not a religion ! … Perhaps PJR would welcome the entire pantheon here ? He was never a problem here, so perhaps the problem is not with him, but with your (plural) intolerance of theistic views (I'm assuming that Maratreanism is theistic??)? As for welcoming his pantheon, see this exchange, which both resulted in him not promoting his religion here, and in doing so in a fair and reasonable way that didn't put him off. Perhaps there's a lesson there?
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:03, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Maratreanism has many gods , somewhat animistic and with demigods of a giant bat and a really big kitty. I think the Giant Kitty could be convinced to carry some christians into battle but she may be asleep in her cave *hiss mreoww flap flap * yes sleeping. Trinka says Hi ! Hamster (talk) 03:11, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
RW embraced Maratreanism with a glad heart. I dare say that the RW experiance with a pantheon of gods was so well received that most of them joined RW as members. The proto-prophet was not as well liked as Travancus (dead prophet) and he apparently wrote many of those gods out of the new creed. The FSM and IPU are welcome anytime though they never joined. Hamster (talk) 03:20, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, when Zarnancy purified the religion, it was not pretty: bats and cats running around everywhere, and Tolerance trying to snap them up into his religion. Having a religion filled with critters and figures was perhaps the Maratrean's biggest mistake; he never knew when they might show up and make some religious commentary. Steriledepraved mind! 10:42, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
I mean dissenters are invited and at least the idea of dissent is embraced insofar as dissenters, or even full on cranks like Maratrean, are given free run of the place to debate themselves silly if they wish. Teh Terrible Asp (talk) 04:24, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

(Outdent & off topic)The issue is not federal, but state government. There are federal IR laws/standards that apply to pretty much every employee except employees of the local and state governments in some states (mine included). As an employee of our state government I am one of the minority of Australian employees covered under different legislation, in a uni-cameral state with a government that is modifying the laws and has expressed its willingness to rapidly enact laws that it knows will not withstand constitutional challenge (once someone falls foul of the law and has the means to mount such a challenge). We recently lost freedom of association, and the executive has empowered itself to simply overule the judiciary. I kid you not, a man was arrested and held without bail because he wore a gang belt buckle while outside a pub. That is an actual crime and upon conviction carries a mandatory 6 month sentence, in a specially built super-max gaol, in a pink jumpsuit. If he had had drugs or a weapon on him, then in addition to whatever sentence he received for possession there would be a mandatory 15 years minimum added (with no parole permitted), at said super-max – because of the belt buckle. The legislated definitions underlying this are so vague that they could be applied to almost any group of 3 or more people doing almost anything, and withholding of bail is mandatory unless the individual can demonstrate that they were about legitimate doings. Oh, and there is talk of giving the cop-in-the-street assault rifles. All this, with the world’s number 2 HDI (for now). There have also recently been laws introduced that permit hearings which the accused is not permitted to attend, and deny the accused access to prosecution evidence in case they use it to mount a defence. LowKey (talk) 03:54, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

I take it that you're a gang leader at this point in your career. Sorry, had to say it. I'll look into what you're talking about. Is there any place you'd suggest I start reading? Teh Terrible Asp (talk) 04:18, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
The bills and acts are on the Queensland Parliament website. There are amendments to Criminal Law, Police Powers and Responsibilities, Industrial Relations, Industrial Associations. There is introduction of law regarding "criminal organisations" and "vicious lawless associations". Queensland Law Society has an article on their website about some of it, I think. The local online papers are generally Courier Mail and The Brisbane Times, and I expect would have something as well. Any search with bikies, Jarrod Bleijie (our AG), or Campbell Newman (our Premier) should get results. You could look up Terry O'Gorman. He's a prominent civil liberties lawyer who has had a bit to say. If you need more, maybe email me and I'll toss some links and some recent history your way. LowKey (talk) 05:36, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
That sounds fu....really criminal. We are having problems with employment here too. I have been out of work for 3 months since I got back from Europe. It's partly a local problem because the council is hopeless but because I live in the capital city the biggest employer is the government. When we have centre-right parties they 'streamline' the public service so jobs are lost and money dries up. I am a far, far way from poor but my wife just had a baby and I don't want to sit around over the Christmas period living off our savings so looking at having to move up north. I don't want too - we have a really nice house and a baby to think about but my hand is feeling kinda forced. Ace McWicked (talk) 05:41, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
I thought I had problems because I have a piece of meat stuck between my teeth. After those stories I think I better rather not mention that just now. —Awc 06:30, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
What makes it worse is that I am highly skilled and very good at what I do however there might be 50 other people chasing the same job so it comes down to the minute details on ones CV that makes the difference. It's a tough market and while I am highly experienced I don't have a degree/diploma in my background, only a natural talent, so someone who might be less talented but with a degree looks better on paper. Ace McWicked (talk) 06:38, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
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