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News and Current Events

Author/DatePost
reasonwithme
Mar 31 2009
Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld ... 3765.story

....on those who thought they were above it. A notorious Spanish high judge is moving forward with prosecuting a handful of those involved with Gitmo for Geneva and human rights violations. I hope he goes all the way up to Bush/Cheney - they were ultimately the most responsible and in charge.

Alex_Kasman
Apr 1 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

I hope I don't seem like a CENSOR. There are no strict rules here, but I would like to request that we stay on topic here. What the members of the SHL have in common is our lack of religion, and so posts should relate to that topic. There are a variety of opinions on politics within the group, and though I am all in favor of open discussion between people who disagree, I fear that if we go in that direction on this website it will be divisive. Our group is small enough as it is and I think we can better achieve our goals if we can work together on those things we agree upon and avoid fighting over unrelated matters.

It is my intention to delete this thread in a few days. Until then, we can use it to discuss whether you agree with my decision to avoid general political discussion on this board.

-Alex

meemoon
Apr 2 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

Good show,Alex. Not one word in that post about religion. Unless simple minded Bush-bashing can be called a "religion". It would certainly have it's congregation,worshippers,dogma (Bush is eeeeevvviiiillll), and many "bibles". Just read any left-wing blog-site and pray like a bastard. I plan to continue the discussion of islam and the koran,if I may.

reasonwithme
Apr 3 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

"The section on the forum states "This is a forum for the presentation and discussion of news articles and other current events, particularly those relating to secular humanism, atheism, skepticism and religion." It says "particularly" religion but not "exclusively". I understand you not wanting to turn "us" against "us" but I think you're underscoring our ability to respectfully disagree. The trial of those responsible for Gitmo and even the U.S. car industry are very relevant current events that effect people of every faith/or lack thereof. Everyone on here or any secular site doesn't share the same views on every aspect of life....secular individuals can't completely agree on simple differences of atheist vs agnostic. I didn't notice any harsh responses in either of the two threads. I'm fine with posting non-directly religious related content on other sites if it's made clear in the forum description and is without majority discontent with the members of the group. Thanks for contacting me before deleting.

Jason"

Above is my response to the private message I received which is very similar to the public post on the thread I started. meemoon seems to have a reaction to anything that is negative against the former republican administration. I honestly don't care if I hurt his feelings with that post. Human rights supersede any political affiliation and if Bill Clinton had set up Gitmo, there would still be reaction to it. meemoon and others have a right to believe what they want and as childish as his reply was he is entitled to it. He missed the important issue once again...human rights - not partisanship....I nowhere mentioned that all replublicans are evil and democrats are a "godsend"...they happened to be the administration responsible for Gitmo and that's why they are being singled out...I don't even label myself a democrat....though my views lean liberal. Everyone in this group is more complex (I would hope) than just solely thinking and talking about religion. Our fellow SHL member Nancy Worley is talking about healthcare at the next meeting. This has nothing to do with religion anymore than my post does...but it is a relevant topic to humanity and one that I'm passionate about and looking forward to hearing. I think there needs to be consistency within the guidelines of censorship. I would like to hear other members' opinions if I am off point with this.

Alex_Kasman
Apr 3 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

Everyone in this group is more complex (I would hope) than just solely thinking and talking about religion. Our fellow SHL member Nancy Worley is talking about healthcare at the next meeting. This has nothing to do with religion anymore than my post does...but it is a relevant topic to humanity and one that I'm passionate about and looking forward to hearing. I think there needs to be consistency within the guidelines of censorship. I would like to hear other members' opinions if I am off point with this.

I agree with all you've said here. For instance, I agree that I did not really set up "the rules" in advance because when I started the discussion board years ago (at our old lowcountry.humanists.net site) I did not foresee these problems. You certainly did not break any existing rules, and I apologize if it seemed that I had accused you of doing so now.

And I especially agree with the part about wanting to know what others think about this question. Should we (a) just agree not to discuss some topics that are going to lead to fights without achieving anything (b) trust that we are all adults and can handle disagreements in a mature but respectful manner or (c) compromise by creating a special forum on this discussion board for political debates?

As for (a), that doesn't seem so strange to me. I'm used to the idea that in certain groups of people there are certain things that you don't discuss for the sake of avoiding pointless fights.

I know the topics are important, and so you might think it is not pointless. This suggests we should go with (b), a totally open discussion... but my experience leads me to expect that each side in such a debate will just get more and more furious at the other without any hope of coming to a common understanding, and I don't see how that would be any good for anyone.

So, maybe (c) would be a good compromise. I think it was Melio's suggestion that I set up a part of this board where you can discuss/debate politics with other users of this discussion board.

Everyone, please write in with your thoughts on this.

Melio
Apr 3 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

A few quotes from the inter-webs about censorship

"Debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open and that...may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." - William Brennan, New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too. - Thomas Jefferson

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1730

and so ends my findings on quotes...

I think the main issue, is can we be mature enough to bicker about whatever and not feel repelled from this place simply because others differ in opinion. I think so, yes.

Alex_Kasman
Apr 4 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

I really wasn't trying to censor anything. I was just looking for an agreement that we would not discuss certain things. But, if I'm the only person who agrees with it then it isn't an agreement!

So, let's forget about my earlier requests that we discuss only topics directly related to our common interests. Go ahead, discuss anything you want. We can at least try that for a while. (Maybe it will work much better than I thought.)

But, let me still urge you to acknowledge the existence of people at this site who may disagree with you and their right to do so. In particular, please avoid ad hominem attacks. That means, you can explain the reasons behind your opinion and are free to point out where the reasoning behind someone else's opinion is based on a logical error or fallacy, but it is not acceptable to act as if the other person is not entitled to their own opinion. For instance, this would rule out calling someone "stupid" or "un-American" simply because they disagree with you.

-Alex

Justin
Apr 5 2009
Re: Finally!!! Someone steps up to enforce the law....

All of our topics are impolite, because we are writing about religion. Shall we not be total boors and discuss politics, too?

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