A fellow moderator, Chris G, recommended that I terminate discussions such as "Why Do You Dislike Jesus So Much?" and redirect members to new discussions I'd begin, on the tangential topics to which it has drifted.

I may not be assertive enough in discussion management. I realized that the discussion had long ago drifted away from the original topic. My reluctance to stop it wasn't that I was unaware of the termination option, it was that I hate to see my own mug in front of so many of the discussions. It's important to me to encourage members to initiate their own discussions, to voice their own thoughts instead of merely reacting to mine. Perhaps this has blinded me to the greater need to keep discussions coherent.

I don't like to take arbitrary action of this sort. It feels too dictatorial. However I'll do it, if you want me to. So here's your question... Should I

A. Allow discussions to drift about untill they "die a natural death", or

B. Terminate discussions I think are getting too far off of the original topic and attempt to create new ones, to redirect the discourse, to where I think they've gone.

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Replies to This Discussion

Alice, I have been thinking about your reply and want to think about it with you a minute. 

You wrote:

* Reply by Alice yesterday

Joan LOL - I feel the need to 'enlighten' theists to their delusional thinking - based on my personal strong desire to search for and know the truth - as best as we are able to gain it.  Science does seem like the best available way to gain more truth - but certainly reading old books that are clearly immoral in their content seems totally wrong - and I'd like to engage others in conversations about the insanity of believing such writings.  It's not because I see anyone abusing someone, I see normal, regular people, living their lives in a normal moral way - but choosing to self identify as religious.  So in this case, I have to question myself about whether my aims to enlighten others are really that valuable?

______

What is it you are trying to do?

*Let others know how you think? 

*Enlighten other?

*Persuade others to think about their thinking?

*Convince others that their thinking is incorrect and you have a better way of thinking? 

*What are the pros and cons of revealing your own position?

I probably would be happy with any of those outcomes - so long as I have also been clear that my intentions are to increase the well being of all and in no way decrease anyone's well being.

I don't know if it's an age thing - but I feel way more confident in expressing my views - and what I'm finding as I'm doing it - is that my religious friends are engaging with me in increasing numbers with kind and thoughtful responses, which is encouraging - and indicative that I must be doing the above aim of maintaining my morality in what I'm doing and saying.

Alice, the test is in the consequenes and you have clearly done well if, "my religious friends are engaging with me in increasing numbers with kind and thoughtful responses". That is exactly what the world needs, ability to discuss with kind and thoughtful responses. This shift that is taking place, not only in discussions about religion, but in economics and politics. We are in the midst of a gigantic social change and if we don't realize that, we would be feeling like we are living in chaos. Through reasonable discussion, we can get through these storms.

I really am encouraged and expect to develop better ways of living together.  

Joan - I am naturally a person who seeks to be kind and compassionate to others - I seek the high road when it comes to finding something we can agree on and something we have in common - although I'm learning also that it's important to point out where others do things that are causing harm - such as the list that Greta gives us here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUI_ML1qkQE

I have found that the causal web around people who are 'nice' is generally 'nice' and those that are 'bitchy' 'mean' etc - get the same.... the law of karma has some meaning here....

Alice, I love this film and she lays it all out. I can't find anything to add to her summery. 

Alice, you are a kind person and reveal compassion. I hope you aren't feeling weak or negative about your character because I don't see any reason why you can't be stand up-in your face kind and compassionate.

You and I react differently, partly because of genes and partly because of experiences, and of course there is the age thing. But may I be so bold as to say to you, you are just fine; the Japanese have word for it, "shibui", that means perfectly imperfect! 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui

Joan - :) sure - we are all perfectly imperfect - a good saying...

I really like Sam Harris - he is kind, compassionate and respectful and yet manages to be totally blunt and to the point in a very intelligent and concerned way...

Joan - :) sure - we are all perfectly imperfect - a good saying...

I really like Sam Harris - he is kind, compassionate and respectful and yet manages to be totally blunt and to the point in a very intelligent and concerned way...

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