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Sunday, June 6, 2010

TWeb Disclaimer

Getting away from the usual Loftus and Debunking Christianity subject matter (don't worry, there is another post I will be finishing up here soon), I think it's somewhat of an important issue to get this out here and in the open.

Many people will get the impression that because this website is run by myself and JP Holding, who has assisted me in most of my major web projects thusfar, that I am probably a Christian myself or that I am part of what might be considered the 'typical' TheologyWeb mindset. I'm here to put these myths to rest to establish what the purpose of this website is and why it is important. Not that I haven't done this before, but this takes on a slightly different degree of shading.

The issue of rampant and unjustified censorship on the part of the TheologyWeb forums has generated a great deal of complaints in the past from both atheists and Christians, as well as other theists. The management behind TWeb has all the right in the world to impose restrictions it sees fit, but the point is that many of TWeb's rules are just flat out ridiculous, and in saying this I am making explicit that I have no official endorsement of TWeb's policies nor do I agree with many of them. I am primarily referring to TWeb's restriction on citing sources that may contain profane or extremely offensive language, even if it is not directly quoted within the citation. For a website like Theology Web, it is noble to uphold standards that make the site "family safe", however....

The internet is the internet. My generation and those to follow are literally surrounded by electronic devices and the conveniences the internet now provides that didn't even exist more than a decade ago. TWeb fails to account for the accessibility of information across a wide range of topics, and it's always important to remember the internet does not filter its own content. It is what it is. Ultimately it is the responsibility of one's self or their caring social environment (i.e., family and friends) to dictate whether or not someone should have the means of accessing adult materials or coming across "profane language" even it will indeed threaten their wellbeing within the respective environment.

Think about this for a moment: If profanity is of such a concern to upholding family values, then maybe it is time to consider whether using a keyboard contributes to anything positive for families to begin with. How far would universities get if they were to instill standards limiting students and faculty to quoting and citing references authored only by individuals who have never made any known offensive statements in their work and in other related entries?

No message board that exists has the capacity to do a complete background check and to verify the age of a user who has several different ways of remaining anonymous. It's silly and completely unreasonable to restrict the citation of sources which may contain "adult" language, only because somewhere down the line, someone who shouldn't be exposed to such intense materials will discover them out of a type of rebellious nature. Prohibition, anyone?

There is perhaps some truth to the statements about non-Christian discrimination at the TWeb boards as well, even though in most cases they stem from the bickering of individuals that have certain extremist strides within them, and seek only to be divisive and difficult to deal with. I am not one of those individuals. But I am one of the many who has been slapped on the wrist many times at TWeb for committing arguably petty offenses. "Blasphemy", (a crime of which I have been apparently guilty of) can consist of simple postings phrased in manners such as these: "Oh my God! etc., etc., etc...." Yet to classify these as blasphemous is without logical merit. It is not being charitable to the intent by which the words were arranged within the post, and it unreasonably demands that individuals of a different belief system act according to a religion that doesn't apply to them or that they would otherwise never adhere too in their daily lives.

Many of whom I would call my bretheren on sites such as these hail from TWeb and may even call it their cyber home. But make no mistake that much of my activity is limited on the forums simply for reasons such as these and more. My blog was created to assess and evaluate the rationality behind the mindset of such prominent philosophies such as the ever-growing New Atheism, more specifically a blog which has gained popularity within the New Atheist movement. Being the founder of this blog, I want to make clear that I do not take sides with the management or concept of TheologyWeb, just as I do not take sides with the management or concept of Debunking Christianity. My motive can be derived from a philanthropic desire to spread the true faculties of reasoning onto the rest of the world, but doing so in a conservative fashion. Yes, I am a political conservative, but I am also for the progression of ideas and the betterment of a society. I refuse to side with the extremists. I do not endorse extremist viewpoints, whether they are generally maladaptive and harmful or if they simply mistake censorship for righteousness.

It should also not go without mentioning to say that individuals who venture onto cyber-space should not be allowed free reign to the extent that potential predators and unwanted websites and organizations start retrieving information and or gaining control over your computer and confidential data contained therein. But these are simply matters of the law, and the law is different from aspects of ethics. The law in the simplest of terms can only be used as a successful tool for maintaining order and structure, it cannot be used to control and to persuade. Those are determined by the willpower of the individual alone.

As a prospective philosopher the world must be acknowledged for what it is, and I do not doubt for a second that various world perspectives, whether religious or political, can come to this understanding and find commonality. The world has always had its dark aspects in reality, but we are now living in a time where globalization has a overwhelming involvement with about 98% of our daily activities. We can no longer expect ourselves to resolve our crises and overcome challenging obstacles by giving into our egos and letting our ideologies rule our lives. Now is the time to come together in a true and fruitful manifestation of progressivism. We cannot let the future become a world where the majority will profess logic but will disregard ethics as lovey dovey nonsense. We also cannot override logic with our emotions. We must seek the doctrine of the mean. If you do not seek balance in virtue, then the only expectation is that you will seek out vice.

Going back to TWeb I fear that it misses the degrees of extremity and contextual meaning behind certain things much in the same way that Loftus is blinded by his own embitteredness that on some level he is unable to recognize his highly flawed arguments or even his own condemning hypocricy. For TWeb, it is much like a parent restricting a child from having any exposure to nudity as if nudity was the same as pornography. Many TWebbers would undoubedtly be quick to point this out as being an extreme and misrepresentative analogy on behalf of the policies established by TWeb management because it is not as though the people at TWeb are oblivious to such things. But this point still remains: You cannot strip reality of all of its horrors and truths, because as soon as you do, you only set yourself up for delusions and a mentality of fear.

Places such as TWeb and Debunking Christianity may attempt to be forums of open and healthy exchange, and even while TWeb is the lesser of two evils (in a more or less sense), it remains that both are unfortunately based in insecure fragility. Period.


  1. Interesting post. Kind of reminds me of two chapters in Chesterton's novel, The Ball and the Cross, in which both the atheist and the Christian antagonists (at battle with each other) each suffer a nightmare of what the world would be like if their particular beliefs thrived to the exclusion of everyone else's.

    There are also atheists and Christians who get along in debate, as well as in a friendly fashion after such debates. Chesterton even claimed the atheist (and anti-Catholic) H.G. Wells as a lifelong friend. The lifelong friendship of Billy Graham and apostate Charles Templeton is another case in point.

    Many moderate Christian bibliobloggers and biblical scholars also seem to be able to get along relatively well with atheist bibliobloggers and scholars, often having their posts submitted together and appear together in the monthly online BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL.

    My own list of five books every Evangelical Christian (apologist) should read starts out by listing two works by Evangelical Christian OT scholars who raise interesting questions.

  2. I just read on the right sidebar that this blog is the one that John Loftus despises the most. But all you can say with certainty is that you've created a blog based on your own view that Loftus and all his arguments are despicable. Same goes for the "Debunking Crap" blog, and the now defunct, "The Discomfiter" blog (of Paul Manata).

  3. Righto Babinski, you are the King of Irrelevance.

    If you go back in time John was very disturbed by the existence of this blog and had even threatened me that I delete it or be prohibited from commenting on DC. Does that sound like someone who is genuinely interested in dialogue or someone who has a fragile ego? Not to mention this is the only blog were Holding is a primary contributor. That's enough of a reason to send Loftus through the roof.

  4. But with all due respect, Loftus groupies like Babinski have no room to complain.

    Loftus not only bans people, although he currently claims he doesn't, by simply deleting their posts, he ALTERS them as well

    And currently, he has a vile "anti atheist" called "DM" who is obviously a disinformation plant.


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