Whidbey Island Freethinkers Message Board › Guest Spot for Arbitrary Isolation of Not Free Freethinkers

Guest Spot for Arbitrary Isolation of Not Free Freethinkers

Stephen K.
StephenKahn
Group Organizer
Langley, WA
Post #: 96
First of all, while I am still a semi-coherent dictator, I am going to abuse my power. Dick McManus, an intelligent and knowledgeable atheist with an interest in what might be crudely and unfairly called "conspiracy theories" has posted a number of discussion topics and comments which made me (and some other people) uncomfortable. One such discussion topic had to do with the 9/11 Twin Towers Collapse and alleged cause involving airplanes hijacked by terrorists. Mr. McManus has many interests, many theories, and many opinions, and posts many links. Many of these may be correct and accurate. Some of them may be quite incorrect. I detected a reluctance on the part of other members (which I share) for his topics to be seen as the "public face" of Whidbey Island Freethinkers. On the other hand, if we started deleting his postings or banning his participation, we are hardly "Freethinkers," are we?

I think Internet communication is often impersonal and leads to misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. I made an arbitrary and "unauthorized" and "unconsulting with anyone else" decision to meet with Mr. McManus at a Denny's in Everett. We met for several hours, had a very friendly (or so I thought) discussion; and he very kindly bought me an excellent lunch. I made a proposal. My proposal that he restrict his comments to one topic and preface it (or allow me to preface it) that comments there do not represent the "official" (for lack of a better title) view of WIF. What I heard from him was "I understand; this happens to me all the time." He explained why he thought his posting are useful and valuable; I explained why I differed. I thought he said it was fine for me to delete all his topics and comments and that he didn't want to be confined to one topic.

Today, I found a new topic kind of ringing all the old bells. I deleted it a few minutes ago. When I was in college there was an old joke that ran, "Academic politics is so vicious because it is about so little of importance." I think we are entering similar territory. As far as I am concerned, as long as the "Meetup" fee is on my credit card, I am the dictator of this organization, though more and more I let other people decide things. My decision is that Dick McManus can post whatever he wants to say on any topic in this discussion. I reserve the right to delete any posting he makes of a new discussion or a comment on any other discussion here. Dick: Say whatever you want (that doesn't break the law) in this discussion. Whatever you say here is your opinion and may or may not represent the organization's.

I have been banned from a major evangelical Christian web site for exercising my free speech about the existence or non-existence of God, the right of homosexuals to marry, etc., and I am on a thin leash at another evangelical web site. While I hardly consider myself as the victim of or perpetrator of religious persecution, I feel like I have demonstrated that I can "take it" and hence have the right to "dish it out."

If anyone is irritated or offended, move to Rhode Island or other available refuge physical or cyberspace (following the Roger Williams, tradition) or start a new Meetup. I am still alive. I am still in partial possession of my mental faculties. I run this damn place to suit myself, but only once in a while.
Robert
RobertRay
Granite Falls, WA
Post #: 31
I have a suggestion. Instead of posting a new topic, may want to create a new board for alternate posting. I did this with the HNPS. I put up a disclaimer about views expressed on the board are not the views of group etc.. You can also set a board so that only members can see it.
Stephen K.
StephenKahn
Group Organizer
Langley, WA
Post #: 97
Interesting suggestion, Robert. Nothing like a tempest in a teapot to stir up ... well, something. When Greg (much more of a computer expert than I am) and I next communicate, I will run this by him. So far, none of Dick's posts have caused me problems. I can't speak for anyone else. The situation reminds me of when I studied math about 65 years ago, and we would graph functions that approached zero as a "limit," but never actually got to zero. I remember. I don't think I can post the symbol properly here -- So 1/∞ it seems to work in preview. We are getting closer to nothing!
Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy