Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Posted by Max K on 10/04/03 at 16:35 (132201)

I have been thinking about this during the 6-day pause of this board, which was called a '3-day pause due to theological difficulties' (huh?).

I know from personal experience with friends and relatives that there are subjects of discussion that are extremely divisive, such as, in no particular order, money, core values of all kinds, politics, religion, sexuality. These subjects will often overlap. For example, when discussing pornography, I have always noticed how very different most mens' attitude toward it is from most womens'. There is no question in my mind that this is simply another manifestation of the many INBORN perceptual and behavioral differences between the sexes (I'm talking about the vast majority here, exceptions serve to confirm the rule). But this standpoint is unacceptable by many who believe that it's all social conditioning and that we all start out as a blank slate and can be molded into anything.

Well, nobody talks much about that potentially hot topic on this board, so it's not a problem. Nor is there much talk about sexuality, or about religion, or about money.

The big divisive topic on this board is politics. And since politics is the practical implementation of core values and their extensions, I think that what really divides people here are core values.

This might seem strange on the face of it, because you would think that everyone wants freedom and prosperity and health and peace. So what's the beef?

The problem is deep with the deep underlying beliefs that reside mostly in the subcoscious realm. For example, everybody wants peace, right? Well, that doesn't sound too complicated. Everybody knows what peace is, right? Wrong.

When I think of the definition of peace, I think of soldiers with guns ready to go to war and get perhaps get killed.

When somebody elese thinks of peace, he might think of the ABSENCE of guns or the absence of soldiers.

The difference, going into my subconscious now, is that I believe that our life is FUNDAMENTALLY CONFLICTED and unsafe and unfair, whereas the other person might believe that our life is not fundamentally conflicted, but conflicted only 'by accident', and that with the right policies we can largely un-conflict it. For example, This person might believe that Saddam Hussein is not evil, and that we could have found peaceful resolutions of the major problems in Iraq by somehow changing our policies instead of attacking the Iraqi regime.

But even this type of discussion doesn't sound too terribly hostile on the face of it. So why does so much discomfort arise out of it, to the point that some people here want to BAN such discussions? I think it is because these type of discussions force you to bring your core values and core beliefs to a conscious awareness, and not everyone wants to do that. What if somebody has a core value that comes mostly from fear? This might be the case with a racist. A racist probably will not want to examine the root of his belief. Instead, it is, to him, a deep, dark secret that he does not want exposed.

I personally believe that the root of pacifism is fear, but more than a healthy fear, as in, fear of one's destruction, but additionally a fear as in lack of courage to confront and defeat the enemy. The pacifist might even go so far as to refuse to acknowledge the concept of 'enemy'. This might make him more at ease with himself by more effectively covering up his inner conflict. But we do have enemies, and they must be confronted and defeated, no matter what the cost. Somebody killed a lot of good people on 9/11, one of which was a brave man named Todd Beamer, who is commemorated on a bumper sticker on my taxi. The entity that is behind that act of war is our enemy. They declared war by their actions. I can't say whether it's Al Quaida or just America-hating 'islamofascist' terrorists in general, but it is an entity that can be defined. I'm sure the anti-terrorism experts in the CIA or Pentagon know in detail which groups we're dealing with. Whatever their best analysis comes up with, well, that's our enemy.

Those who wish to ban the heated political discussions here are the ones who DO NOT WISH THEIR CORE VALUES TO BE EXPOSED TO THEMSELVES OR TO OTHERS.
If they say they are uncomfortable, it probably means: 'just let me keep my illusions, how dare you even touch upon them, they have served me well, I need them for my sanity! Just drop it, okay? Can't we just PLEASE stick to more comfortable topics?'

Anyone who wants to ban heated political discussions here is afraid of being confronted with their own inner conflicts. It is simply fear, nothing else.

I'm not saying that's not a valid objection. After all, if you want to have a good talk with someone, it doesn't go very well if the other person is made intensely uncomfortable. So when I have conversatons with family members, I mostly avoid the divisive issues, to keep them comfortable. Should I do the same here? Maybe I should. I hope I don't say too many things that are deliberately inflammatory. I'm still thinking about what the right middle ground is.

Max

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/04/03 at 16:53 (132204)

Max:

You have brought up some interesting points. Avoiding certain topics for the sake of certain peoples comfort is one thing. Banning topics is something else.

Coming forth and frankly asking others directly to do something, ie. 'we would appreciate it if all could take a break from a topic for now,' elicits a positive response but what is percieved as the act of coming up from behind to get an edict created gets a negative response.

Your perceptions of pacifism are fascinating and inciteful. I probably will not go much further on that subject though at this point as it is a bit too hot a topic for this venue. Perhaps it really shouldn't be.

I would like to see what suggestions for a middle ground you can formulate. As you realize, no room has been left for that middle ground at this point. Perhaps you can come up with a way to 'break the ice' on this as I feel that participation here may be limited without that.
Ed

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

nancy s. on 10/04/03 at 16:54 (132205)

oh my god, max, that's hilarious! i mean your psychoanalysis of a pacifist. it was all one-sided and negative in an effort to be humorous, right? that's good -- the social/SUPPORT board can always use more jokes. thanks for your idea of a joke, and let's move on.

nancy
.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

John H on 10/04/03 at 18:00 (132209)

Max: Whether people agree with your post or not Max, and some most certainly will not, it seems to be the writings of a scholar. Are you sure you drive a taxi and do not teach at some university?

Some prefer the social board to be a place that discuss non confrontational subjects so I am trying to do that but in so doing I am not finding much to talk about that is of substance. Most any core value subject has an element of politics in it and most important things in life will have people on both sides of an issue.

I am sticking mostly to the other boards these days but your post caught my eye and caused me to 'think'. A well written thoughtful post Max whether one agrees with you or not.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

marie on 10/04/03 at 18:32 (132214)

There have been a few times I have felt uncomfortable here but for the most part I hardly ever feel uncomfortable here. You're right we need to find a middle ground....one step at a time.

best wishes marie

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Dorothy on 10/04/03 at 19:53 (132223)

Greetings Max - on the Social/Support Board!!

Methinks you are doing a great deal of jumping to conclusions (now THAT can hurt your feet!) and making a lot of false connections. I recall that it was you who posted a list of some of the rules of debate, yes? Perhaps a review would be useful...

I greatly enjoy a good political (or religious or book or movie..) debate, but I think what we were missing here recently, before the shut-down, is the DEBATE aspect and what it had become had too little of the back and forth that debate likes.
The nuanced difference between persuade and prevail might pertain, or dominate versus debate. When personalities and points of view are strong, it can be hard to adhere to persuade and debate rather than the other.

I tread lightly because of recent history. I like it that you are thinking about these things, but I think there is much to dispute in what you say. I'm just going to stay out of the Disputer Box for now. I will just take issue with one little thing: your definition of peace. I think your definition of peace would actually be a definition of defense.

But hey! How's that chicken salad??

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Max K on 10/05/03 at 01:25 (132266)

I was worried :-s that I might stir up some trouble, which might lead to more theological difficulties. #-o

But I know I learn something every time I post. What did I learn today? Posting controversial subjects is a balancing act between stimulating people to think and alienating them. Because of recent theological difficulties, everyone is tip-toeing around the really controversial stuff for a while and instead leaning in the direction of diplomacy and biting their tongue (if applicable). Then, in a few days, some of us will lean back in the other direction and we will make forceful statements about our beliefs, to hell with diplomacy. Something will happen in the news, and that might set it off, for example, the California recall election. I once read somewhere that almost everything that a person says is PRIMARILY said to convince HIMSELF that it is true, because he needs reassurance about his beliefs, because life is such that doubts will regularly surface and cause discomfort.

Max

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/05/03 at 01:37 (132267)

Max:
If we do decide to let loose and say something about our beliefs it has to be about religion because, unless ScottR has changed his mind, politics is banned from the board. Warm fuzzies only, ie. perform a make believe lobotomy on ourselves before posting. I only drink on occasions but a not so wise man once stated, 'a bottle in front of me is better than a prefrontal lobotomy.' ;)

Ed

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

nancy s. on 10/05/03 at 06:02 (132284)

'I once read somewhere that almost everything that a person says is PRIMARILY said to convince HIMSELF that it is true, because he needs reassurance about his beliefs, because life is such that doubts will regularly surface and cause discomfort.'

is this true for you too, or only for the annoying non-cons? actually, if i've read enough of the past several months, i don't think you, max, have been too too repetitive, but some other folks do a lot of repeating of beliefs, and it makes me suspect there's some truth to your statement here.

nancy
.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

nancy s. on 10/05/03 at 06:19 (132285)

ed, i think the horse is dead, but one can go on beating it if one wants. scott might not like it, though. there used to be a 'three fouls and you're blocked from the board' policy here. i believe only one individual received the block, and i don't know if scott is considering reinstating the policy. one of my posts, in early 2001, was once deemed a foul. and i deserved it. i don't think it compared to about 250 posts i've read this year, though.

nancy
.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

marie on 10/05/03 at 12:09 (132309)

I think the that some here have abused the board as a platform for beliefs. It is unfortunate that the rest of the folks here who just like to yak about current events have been muted. Life isn't always fair. I say this for both cons and non cons. The big problem is that politics is the primary current event right now. Can we talk about human rights? Is that political? I do think there are plenty of topics we can discuss that are interesting and have meaning. This board is in part for support, and socializing. I wish I had some magic words to make everyone happy but I don't. Thanks for all the posts...I enjoyed reading them.

marie

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/05/03 at 12:47 (132313)

nancy:
Have you never seen a horse brougth back to life?
Ed

Re: Sexuality, Religion and money huh?

Richard, C.Ped on 10/05/03 at 14:06 (132322)

Well...lets see...I'm a male, Christian, and I don't have much money (but very very happy). How's that?? haha
Richard

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

John H on 10/05/03 at 16:23 (132325)

Marie you bet Human Rights can be very political because all do not agree on exactly what human rights are. Not only is it political but is an issue that can get nations into war.

I think our problem has not been so much politics as differences in opinion on many subjects. We have had heated discussion in the past over many subjects.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

nancy s. on 10/05/03 at 17:49 (132331)

yes, i saw a horse brought back to life just today. the red sox. our living room ceiling has dents in it.

Re: Anybody feel uncomfortable posting here? My thoughts on this.

marie on 10/05/03 at 19:01 (132340)

absolutely.