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Can our discussions here make a difference in the world around us?

Discussion in 'The Social World' started by Jim, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    This forum probably will end up making a difference in the world, and I hope it will. As for whether it ends up making a difference in my personal journey, it remains to be seen, but I hope so :) . The last time I considered myself to truly be soul to soul into a forum was when I was 20 years old. And it was a forum of people roughly the same age. In it, people were pretty progressionist and they believed in the evolution of society and even language itself. However, most people would simply figure out what they believe and role-play a side if necessary. They didn't worry about what would happen by throwing around labels - the labels just kind of led to good debate, even if it was role-played sometimes. Compared to that forum... This forum is a bit more grown up. I'd say people want it known here that respect of people and beliefs is more important than a lot of things. Whereas on the forum I liked, things were a bit more live-action. Granted, there are some things I can do to adjust to make things easier for others. It seems my English has gotten a bit rusty, and even I admit I use words incorrectly sometimes... and I edited a few of my posts to make them a bit... softer. But definitely, it's like a new world to me.
     
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  2. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I don’t care about respect of beliefs. I disapprove of all beliefs, and I denounce them as ticking time bombs. I do care about respect of people. Don’t you? What things are more important to you than respect of people?
     
  3. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    As I grow up, I realize that few things are. The question isn't whether I respect people so much as, how careful I should be in getting my points across. I do have a mentality that if I seek to please everyone, I may just end up coming across as generic, linking to Wikipedia articles to show correctness and modifying my beliefs to fit them. But I guess that is still so much better than hurting another's feelings.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    For me, respecting people is not about trying to please everyone, and it is not about modifying or repressing my views to avoid hurt feelings. I see hurt feelings being used more more as bullying and censoring tactics in the world today, and I see a need for all of us to learn not to be bullied or silenced by them.
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    There might not be any way for me to know how much difference our discussions here can make in the world around us, and I won’t try to guess. I do think that what I do offline has much better possibilities for my purposes. As long as I’m posting here though, I’ll be trying to do it in ways that I think might do the most good, online and offline.
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I’m trusting now that there’s a part of each person that wants to help improve the world for all people everywhere, now and into the future, no matter how much they might appear to be saying otherwise. That what I’m thinking of, in writing this post and some of my other ones.

    Even people who are most actively and passionate involved in that might think of these forums only as a place to socialize and have some fun, but I think we can do that, and use them to help improve the world, at the same time. If we can do that, why not do it?
     
  7. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I've spent some time on this forum now, and I don't think it's all gloom neither. You may see some threads where things get a little fast and out of control, but that still doesn't paint an overall picture. The overall picture I see is a community which does step up and sometimes on the quieter threads, people do point out views that aren't accurate.

    I think I'm better for being here, even if the Jokes forum brings out my funny bone. But I also need to word things carefully in not suggesting my social progress has ended. It hasn't.

    As an example to prove my points, I'm kind of a progressionist who already accepts many ideas of how should we put it, improving social atmosphere, so you'd think the focus wouldn't all be on me having very closed minded views. Yet even a person like me, who already accepts a lot of ideas, this forum has stepped up to tell me:

    1. I need to make sense when speaking.

    2. I need to be careful of the terms I use in accurately describing beliefs.

    3. Just because I'm on side X and have had some problems in the past with side Y, doesn't mean side Y hasn't had the same problems with side X.

    I did state my hurt in the past at some people of certain groups and what they said about me, but I think it didn't really affect the forum negatively and we all had a good cry about it - even the people in the same group that had hurt me (who weren't involved in any of it). I just think we are all growing including me.
     
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  8. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    One communication problem I might have with some, maybe most people who are actively involved in trying to help improve the world for all people everywhere, is that they aren’t thinking of it In those terms, or even thinking of it consciously at all. Even people who think of it consciously might not see any reason to talk about it. I see people stigmatizing the idea of trying to help improve the world, when I talk about it, and that might discourage people from talking about it even if they would like to. To me it’s like a craft or hobby or any kind of work we do with our heart in it. Talking about it with other people who are doing it can be fun, and help us do it better.
     
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  9. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Can you think of any example anywhere where an internet forum changed the world around us in some way?

    For me this is just a tea room and dojo for all of us commoners who have no real say or control over how the upper crust in society guides the world. A feel-good place for the exchange of ideas, opinions and debate.
     
  10. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I don’t need to, for any of my purposes. I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind about it.
    Thanks for sharing! :smile:
     
  11. Amanaki

    Amanaki Living in the moment

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    A forum like this can inspire to a joy of helping peole around us outside of the online community :) But i think if we stand alone and try to "save" the world, that would be impossible.
    But if you can make an impact on one person, who then do a new impact on a third person and so on, yes we can change the world in a small scale
     
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  12. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    It definetly makes you more aware of how people think and act to be on this forum.

    I take it that people might say things on here that they might otherwise never get a chance to talk about in public life.

    I think Rf does have an effect on the world. People talking to other people, how could it not?

    I am willing to bet that we are all often talking across divides with people we might never approach otherwise.

    I came here to learn and consider what people have to say.

    I dont know about any widespread affect that Rf may have had on people. But maybe it does!

    How many Rf posters are there out there?
     
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  13. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    @Nowhere Man Sorry for brushing you off and mocking you a little. I was inviting people to say what they think about this, and that’s what you did. Thanks.
     
  14. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    It might be that most people reading and posting in these forums have no interest, and never will have any interest, in using them to learn from each other and encourage and support each other in whatever good we’re trying or hoping to do, or in any other way that might do some good in the world around us. However few we might be who do have those interests, I don’t think there’s any limit that we can be sure of, to how much difference we can make.
     
  15. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Some ways I’m thinking of, for possibly doing the most good in the world around us, online and offline:

    - Practice community service in and for this forum community, and whatever else we can find to do, to help make the community life here healthier, happier and more loving, for every person in it.

    - Improve our own practice of the kinds of attitudes and behavior that are needed for that purpose.

    - Learn to be a better friend to more people.

    - Learn to tell stories that will attract people to what we’re promoting, and help them learn to do it.

    For those of us who see the stories and scriptures of different religions saying the same things about how to live the best life and help bring out the best possibilities in all people and in society, that could be one of the stories for us to learn to tell, each in our own way.
     
  16. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    Is this some sort of problem solving global think tank? No. While some might become a little more open minded to others, I think more people will continue to drink their own brand of Kool-Aid as they grow more entrenched in their echo chambers. So I guess people becoming more entrenched is a bit of a difference.
     
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  17. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I think that Internet discussions, including the ones in these forums, can and do make a difference in the world around us, for better or for worse, and no one can know how much or how little the difference can be, or how far it can go.

    I think that there might be some desire in every person to help stop the ravaging and help improve the world for all people everywhere, and that everyone can see that it must include lifelong efforts to improve their own attitudes and behavior in every part of their lives, including in Internet discussions. Maybe everyone can also see the possibility that they can work on improving their own attitudes and behavior in Internet discussions, and still do everything else that they’re here for, and maybe even have a better experience that way.
     
  18. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I wanted to tell you all some of my current thoughts on this.

    One possible way I see for forum discussions to make a difference for the better is by people using them to get ideas and encouragement from each other, for whatever good each of us is doing and hoping to do, online or offline. I think that anyone who wants to can find ways of doing that, and still be doing whatever else they’ve been doing here. I’ll be practicing and promoting that in my own special ways. :)

    In the discussions I see people using words a lot for other purposes besides explaining what they’re thinking, and trying to understand what other people are thinking. Some examples are virtue signaling, fishing for likes, stigmatizing and discrediting people, adding a stamp of authority to what they’re saying, and a kind of combat sport that is sometimes called “debating.” I’m learning to sort through all that to try to find out what people are actually thinking, and to help them find out what I’m thinking if they want to.

    Mostly what I’m trying to do now is just have some friendly conversations with people. I’m also trying to do some things that people have told me that they’re trying to do, so I can be a better listener for them. For example, some people have said that they’re trying to correct misinformation and misunderstandings about their religions, so now I’m trying to correct misinformation and misunderstandings about a light that I see in science and in some religions, and what I see blinding people to it and repelling them away from it.

    In my discussions with people about what they’re trying to do, some topics have come up that interest me passionately. One of those is responsible management of the earth’s resources as a spiritual issue. I started a thread on that, and I have a list of some other ideas for thread topics.
     
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  19. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    At times I'm serious. At times I role-play. It used to confuse people, but I think now they're getting used to it. I mean even role-play is pretty important to me. For example, suppose someone wants to become Trans. They typically have to role-play an opposite gender a bit and see how it makes them feel. So there exists a lot of healthy role-play, as much healthy as negative.
     
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  20. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    It looks to me like one thing that adversely affects people’s thinking, their communications with others, and their attitudes and behavior towards others, is people thinking that they know something.
     
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