On division, entitlement and accusations. - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:31 PM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
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Default On division, entitlement and accusations.

fFirst of all, I'll start with a fact: People can never agree on anything. There is not always going to be consensus where there is more than one person.

Running a site is a balancing act, in trying to please people. I'm sure that most people here have not, and indeed, ToS is a new experience for me as its size far eclipses any other such experience I have had before. It's a learning experience for everyone at times, including me, and I have never denied that.
Everyone has their own vision of how things should be, which will, by nature, concur with some and clash with others. That is unavoidable. However, what is not unavoidable is an argument from that. The truth is, many people just love to state their position on something, rather than discuss it. That is why I have always hated the 'debate' forum. With absolutely no history, without the established belief that things must be argued with the other, it might work, but as it is, it tends to be a magnet for arguments, and ones that breed resentment and 'them and us' that spills over to the rest of the site.

On the other hand, nobody can ever expect dissent not to be allowed, simply because people have different ideas. Requesting that dissent be suppressed from a particular point of view and then complaining about people disagreeing with that request could easily be seen as inconsistent. It's a failing that people often feel entitled to things when they have an opinion, because they are so completely convinced that "I am right, and how could those idiots think anything else - they shouldn't be allowed to!" - this goes for everyone, and it's a hard thing to become completely aware of. Everyone does it from time to time, and it's often only when someone points it out that they realise it. This is why things should be maintained equally, and participation in discussions should be determined by an individual's expression of interest and not on being allowed to based on what think think about it.

By nature, nobody is going to be happy all the time. While yes, ToS was founded on people's wishes, I will not pretend that every single user has an equal decision. Neither will I reinforce the perception that any one of the staff has any more or less influence - indeed, there have been many times where decisions have ended up at a stalemate or argument. Just remember, we are not having fun here. Pleasing everyone all the time is necessarily impossible, and while I can not speak for others, I can say that at times, the stress originating from that responsibility easily overwhelms the stability ToS and Avatar give my life, but I still think it is important to keep things going, not just for myself, but for everyone else who depends on here. ToS is all I have, and it means too much to risk on some ideological war.

A community shared between people can never follow all of the demands of anyone, or it stops being that, because no two people ever have exactly the same opinion. People's ideal situation is an absolute, but in practicality, there is always room for others to be heard - "A good compromise leaves everyone angry".
Look at the suggestion for what eventually became Community Support - a suggestion was made, and it was developed into something usable, where concerns about it were aired and discussed, and while the result bears relatively little resemblance to the actual original proposal, it reached a consensus of opinions on what it should constitute, and people were happy to have it included, albeit in a different form, that was considered acceptable. That is how suggestions should be raised.

Nobody is preventing any view from being expressed (within reason) - that is the definition of censorship. However, giving anyone a right to a special area, to restrict people based on opinion, is censorship.

In this case, the accusations of 'censorship' are, in my opinion, baseless - nobody has ever banned topics that people may wish to make a thread about. What is being aired here is a dispute over whether any topics should have dissenting opinions allowed or not, and whether any specific topic should be sponsored above others. The example I have used a few times is that if there was no music subforum and I wanted to add a Metal one, people who liked other forms would reasonably have a justification to be heard too. Equally, if someone stated that the Music forum was for all types but that one type is superior to others, people would complain there. If there was a huge volume on one specific subject within it, then it may well merit its own, but in that case, before that could happen, people would need to point out any issues, alternative solutions, and actions that may be taken to keep the perceived equality, the equilibrium of compromise I mentioned earlier, present.

Because ToS is, again, so wide, there is another issue to consider. Establishing a specific viewpoint is akin to an endorsement - the 'Environmentalism' subforum is not 'Environment and Industry' or something similar. Nobody's views of what there should be will completely concur, but establishing a subjective view with a status above others changes the game there.

Pleasing everyone to the utmost all the time is impossible. Don't blame anyone for trying to get as far as they can. Nobody wants flamewars, and sometimes it is possible not to realise how much resentment is being harboured over small things. This does not keep within subforum boundaries, and affects everywhere. It may well be possible to discuss something without this happening, but in my experience, this is rare, and needs considerable and continual effort from everyone.

I know this was long, but I honestly hope everyone will read this. I had to spend a lot of time thinking about this, and this took me a very long time to write, and I think that every 'side' needs to come to a realisation, and remember why we are all here in the first place: Because something brought us together, no matter how it's interpreted, no matter if people sometimes even forget.

Last edited by Human No More; 09-05-2011 at 02:48 PM. Reason: fixed mistake
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:33 PM
Mika's Avatar
Mika Finally got her dream job. Full Time Librarian! :")
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 727

This is the HNM that we do all admire and respect, and whom can articulate your own thoughts well without trying to be inciting!

I did state, that I wasn't familiar with the whole of the discussion, and the question or discussion of a distinct sub-forum is a differing consideration, than just of Spirituality discussion being allowed on threads and posts in general.

Maturity dictates, and without it we cannot consider ourselves to be in the process of maturation, the ability to tolerate differing opinions, i understand that!

The Key is:

Never take things Personal
Never (try to) attack an Individual
But Always Stand Firm on the Principle
And you will find your Voice to be much more successful!

Its the digressions into attacking individuals that causes the damage ... and that's where the line often gets crossed (me being today, no exception).
Being able to argue ones case or point, should be just that, sticking to the point, even with resolution, its from the spark of debate that often greater perspective can be found!

We all are only 'seekers' on the meaning of life, whether from the the Spiritual or Scientific, we need all to remember that!
It was impossible not to have, It's impossible not to be, It's impossible not to still ...!

What this world really needs is more artists and environmentalists!

"Its only 'here' that we lose perspective, out at the Cosmic Consciousness Level things get a lot clearer. For example, there is an actual star pattern that is traced in the shape of a Willow Tree, across the breadth of the Milky Way! And no wonder Indigenous peoples refer to the 'here after' as the Happy Hunting Grounds! Has it ever occured to anyone why the bioluminescence dots, on the Na'vi!"
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:31 AM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
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Thank you

Originally Posted by Mika View Post
We all are only 'seekers' on the meaning of life, whether from the the Spiritual or Scientific, we need all to remember that!
True enough

PS. if you agree, I would suggest that A Short Lesson For Consideration on Religious Persecuation be closed, if we are agreeing to work out the issues.
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