Letter of resignation

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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby tobes » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:50 am

shel wrote:
tobes wrote:I am asking you all to consider how you think Buddhism should represent itself, and what kind of role you play in representing it.


Hello Tobes,

Silencing ignorance for the sake of a pretty representation doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. Buddhists face and deal with ignorance in ourselves and others. No one said it was easy.


Ignorance endures, yes. Buddhists practice Right Speech. That's what this is about.

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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby futerko » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:52 am

tobes wrote:Not only are those statements allowed to stand, they seem to be taken by the majority of posters and moderators as ‘honest and true’ speech.


How much greater will that majority be if you let them go unchallenged? I can totally see why you may have lost patience with this.
How weird is it to come to a Buddhist site and find people doggedly clinging to relative truth claims based upon their own perceptions of a media fed "reality"?

On the other hand such views do seem to be gaining weight, not only in the press, but also with certain people calling themselves Buddhist Lamas, so there are good reasons why they should be allowed to post such ignorant views and even better reasons for that not to go unchallenged by people like yourself.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:54 am

tobes wrote:If however, you see that something is clearly wrong – please speak up and let it be known that you wish for a forum which does not allow blatant prejudice to stand unaccounted for.

Indeed it's wrong. But this place is far better with you here than without you.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby tobes » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:01 am

Huseng wrote:
tobes wrote:I don't regard these things as evil. I am simply saying that as a collective community, we have a choice as to what kind of standards we think are acceptable and my actions here are to get us all to contemplate that choice.

Disengaging would be to write nothing and never return - instead I am putting myself on the line and copping a decent pasting for it.

:namaste:



It has been decided we will uphold the spirit of free speech.

What's wrong with that? Do you want censorship of opinions?


You keep asserting the same statement - like a politician repeating the party line - without ever dealing with the argument now put at you numerous times.

Let me put the argument to you one more time:

1. There is no such thing as pure free speech in an online community such as DW; threads are moderated, sometimes deleted, sometimes warnings are given, sometimes members are de-registered.

2. Therefore, there is always a judgement to be made about what constitutes acceptable speech, and what constitutes unacceptable speech.

3. The judgement has been made that demonising Islam via symbolic associations with child rape, genocide, nazism etc is acceptable.

>>>>This is a judgement of acceptability; it is not a mere allowance of free speech.

I am saying, unequivocally, that this judgement is wrong. And it is not merely wrong - it is harmful, to the people to whom those comments are directed, and to the group - that's us Buddhists - from whence the comments arose.

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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:10 am

tobes wrote:1. There is no such thing as pure free speech in an online community such as DW; threads are moderated, sometimes deleted, sometimes warnings are given, sometimes members are de-registered.


Then we shall maintain the spirit of free speech as best we can. I agree we can't let things become a free-for-all, which is why moderation is necessary, especially given the anonymous nature of this forum where few are really accountable for what they write which prompts hostility on a level they otherwise would refrain from in real life (few here reveal their real identities).

So the spirit of freedom of speech will hopefully prevail. People should have the freedom to criticize religions without being called racist, intolerant or bigoted.

3. The judgement has been made that demonising Islam via symbolic associations with child rape, genocide, nazism etc is acceptable.

>>>>This is a judgement of acceptability; it is not a mere allowance of free speech.


Much of the criticism is drawn from readings of the Koran and Islamic history. The association with Nazism is problematic in my opinion, but just because I disagree with someone does not mean I should censor them.

I am saying, unequivocally, that this judgement is wrong. And it is not merely wrong - it is harmful, to the people to whom those comments are directed, and to the group - that's us Buddhists - from whence the comments arose.


Fair enough, but I don't see the need to initiate censorship. We're not the thought police, nor are we to act as nannys to people. We're all adults here and are entitled to opinions, even if they upset others.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby tobes » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:14 am

futerko wrote:
tobes wrote:Not only are those statements allowed to stand, they seem to be taken by the majority of posters and moderators as ‘honest and true’ speech.


How much greater will that majority be if you let them go unchallenged? I can totally see why you may have lost patience with this.
How weird is it to come to a Buddhist site and find people doggedly clinging to relative truth claims based upon their own perceptions of a media fed "reality"?

On the other hand such views do seem to be gaining weight, not only in the press, but also with certain people calling themselves Buddhist Lamas, so there are good reasons why they should be allowed to post such ignorant views and even better reasons for that not to go unchallenged by people like yourself.


I have not lost patience. I am not asking people to become Islamaphiles, or accusing people who are critical of Islam for various reasons of ignorance.

I am simply saying that there is a line about which divides wholesome from unwholesome speech, and where this is crossed either with respect to a particular person or a group, then we have a collective responsibility to point that out and stop it, for the simple reason that it causes harm.

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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby underthetree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:15 am

Virgo wrote:Oh please it is always racist with your type.


My italics.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby tobes » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:19 am

Jnana wrote:
tobes wrote:If however, you see that something is clearly wrong – please speak up and let it be known that you wish for a forum which does not allow blatant prejudice to stand unaccounted for.

Indeed it's wrong. But this place is far better with you here than without you.


Thanks Jnana, that's kind of you to say. :anjali:
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Andrew108 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:21 am

Actually Huseng you have stated that after 9-11 you wanted to enlist (but we're thankful you didn't) . It is possible that you keep the Islam thread open because you have a prejudice. It is also the case that you have locked other threads that contain far less harmful speech than the Islam thread. But aside from this I'm grateful that you are moderating this board.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:26 am

tobes wrote:Thanks Jnana, that's kind of you to say.

Thank you for bringing this issue to the light of day for those of us who were not following the thread in which this was going on. I'll be contacting David and Retro to let them know that I consider this kind of stuff unacceptable. I hope others who find the statements that you quoted in the OP unacceptable will contact them as well.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:28 am

Andrew108 wrote:Actually Huseng you have stated that after 9-11 you wanted to enlist (but we're thankful you didn't) . It is possible that you keep the Islam thread open because you have a prejudice. It is also the case that you have locked other threads that contain far less harmful speech than the Islam thread. But aside from this I'm grateful that you are moderating this board.


Locking a thread and censorship are two different things.

If a thread goes off the tracks and crashes into a ravine, quietly closing it is of no consequence. If I lock a thread I don't start clipping away anything I disagree with therein.

I could just as well close the Islam thread and the same opinions contained therein could resurface elsewhere. I don't think we need to be thought police, and having such arguments contained in one thread is maybe the best bet. If you don't want to read it, just don't.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby shel » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:37 am

tobes wrote:
shel wrote:
tobes wrote:I am asking you all to consider how you think Buddhism should represent itself, and what kind of role you play in representing it.


Hello Tobes,

Silencing ignorance for the sake of a pretty representation doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. Buddhists face and deal with ignorance in ourselves and others. No one said it was easy.


Ignorance endures, yes. Buddhists practice Right Speech. That's what this is about.

:anjali:


How can Buddhist practice if they are silenced. :tongue:
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:40 am

Jnana wrote:
tobes wrote:If however, you see that something is clearly wrong – please speak up and let it be known that you wish for a forum which does not allow blatant prejudice to stand unaccounted for.

Indeed it's wrong. But this place is far better with you here than without you.


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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby underthetree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:46 am

shel wrote:How can Buddhist practice if they are silenced. :tongue:


Yes, but where is the Buddhism in what is being practiced? Are you seriously suggesting that people are engaging in wrong speech as a part of their practice?

Are people saying hateful things as Buddhists?
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Pero » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:13 am

tobes wrote:I am asking why it is that we have judged it acceptable to allow opinions which demonise an entire religio-ethnic group.

So, why are you demonizing the whole forum? :D
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:15 am

Huseng wrote:I could just as well close the Islam thread and the same opinions contained therein could resurface elsewhere. I don't think we need to be thought police, and having such arguments contained in one thread is maybe the best bet. If you don't want to read it, just don't.


You're entirely missing the point.

Firstly, it's not the question of someone liking or not liking the contents of such threads. Plenty of people pay this forum a visit - and many of them are potential newcomers to the Dharma who come here to make up their minds about that weird thing called Buddhism. Some people drop by to find out about the 'religion' their relatives or friends or enemies are into. And what they may encounter in such threads is no negligible amount of bigotry, xenophobia and badly covered up hate - which indeed is pretty typical of conservative religious environments. Or, even more so, convert mentality: at times we're here so tragically close to born-again-Christian mentality. Not the best entry point to the Dharma, I'm afraid.

That aside, as Tobes pointed out, some people in these threads do things which would be considered absolutely unacceptable if one substituted 'Islam' for 'Buddhism'. It's in no way wrong to criticise a religion, here or elsewhere. You can do it many ways, though. You can also try to convince others that you're presenting a critical analysis of Islam while in fact you're just busy hate-mongering. As I'm afraid Vajra Horizon was.

What this forum may need is a unified policy regarding wrong speech. If you can distort the facts (i.e., resort to frequent overgeneralizations, selective readings, etc.) and make use of general propagandist idiom to slander and inspire hate against millions of Muslims, why not feel free here to advocate the suppression of LGBTQ people? The removal of the Jewish plague from Europe? Racial segregation? A belated crusade against the impossibly liberal attitude towards women in the West? Where's the difference?

I'm not suggesting we start to tolerate intolerance for tolerance's sake. I know my Marcuse. As I've confessed, I'm no lover of monotheism myself and understand very well the fear Islam may engender these days especially in Western Europe. But we are bound by our own standards, otherwise they make no sense; criticism must be responsible, precise and informed so that there are no bystander casualties. So as to make sure we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby underthetree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:19 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Huseng wrote:I could just as well close the Islam thread and the same opinions contained therein could resurface elsewhere. I don't think we need to be thought police, and having such arguments contained in one thread is maybe the best bet. If you don't want to read it, just don't.


You're entirely missing the point.

Firstly, it's not the question of someone liking or not liking the contents of such threads. Plenty of people pay this forum a visit - and many of them are potential newcomers to the Dharma who come here to make up their minds about that weird thing called Buddhism. Some people drop by to find out about the 'religion' their relatives or friends or enemies are into. And what they may encounter in such threads is no negligible amount of bigotry, xenophobia and badly covered up hate - which indeed is pretty typical of conservative religious environments. Or, even more so, convert mentality: at times we're here so tragically close to born-again-Christian mentality. Not the best entry point to the Dharma, I'm afraid.

That aside, as Tobes pointed out, some people in these threads do things which would be considered absolutely unacceptable if one substituted 'Islam' for 'Buddhism'. It's in no way wrong to criticise a religion, here or elsewhere. You can do it many ways, though. You can also try to convince others that you're presenting a critical analysis of Islam while in fact you're just busy hate-mongering. As I'm afraid Vajra Horizon was.

What this forum may need is a unified policy regarding wrong speech. If you can distort the facts (i.e., resort to frequent overgeneralizations, selective readings, etc.) and make use of general propagandist idiom to slander and inspire hate against millions of Muslims, why not feel free here to advocate the suppression of LGBTQ people? The removal of the Jewish plague from Europe? Racial segregation? A belated crusade against the impossibly liberal attitude towards women in the West? Where's the difference?

I'm not suggesting we start to tolerate intolerance for tolerance's sake. I know my Marcuse. As I've confessed, I'm no lover of monotheism myself and understand very well the fear Islam may engender these days especially in Western Europe. But we are bound by our own standards, otherwise they make no sense; criticism must be responsible, precise and informed so that there are no bystander casualties. So as to make sure we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby shel » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:39 am

underthetree wrote:
shel wrote:How can Buddhists practice if they are silenced. :tongue:


Yes, but where is the Buddhism in what is being practiced? Are you seriously suggesting that people are engaging in wrong speech as a part of their practice?

Are people saying hateful things as Buddhists?


I'm saying that people make mistakes, we (at least I do) have ignorance.
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby underthetree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:44 am

shel wrote:
underthetree wrote:
shel wrote:How can Buddhists practice if they are silenced. :tongue:


Yes, but where is the Buddhism in what is being practiced? Are you seriously suggesting that people are engaging in wrong speech as a part of their practice?

Are people saying hateful things as Buddhists?


I'm saying that people make mistakes, we (at least I do) have ignorance.


Agreed, of course. But please explain what you mean by "How can Buddhists practice if they are silenced."
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Re: Letter of resignation

Postby Tara » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:12 am

The topic "Islam and Buddhism" has been removed for review.

Topic locked.

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