'Real Names' Doesn't Exactly Guarantee A High Level Of Conversation Either

from the not-to-put-too-fine-a-point-on-it... dept

We've been discussing whether or not a policy of requiring people to use their real names in online communications arenas really makes sense. We've argued repeatedly that there are tremendous benefits to allowing anonymous and pseudonymous speech. One of the standard claims for why "real names" are better is that conversations on sites that require real names are "civil," since people aren't as rude when their identity is attached to their speech.

Yet, in practice, we've found that anonymous and pseudonymous commenters often add a lot more value than their "named" counterparts, and that people with names often can be just as likely to fan the flames with ridiculous comments. Putting an even finer point on this, Jonathan Zittrain points us to a recent thread on Fox News' Facebook page, in which thousands of Facebook users with "real names" issued death threats and other general nastiness towards a spokesperson for American Athiests who appeared on the channel.
Now, of course, this isn't to claim that real names requirements never make sense. It's just to highlight that the claim that real names makes people not want to engage in online flamethrowing is not completely true across the board, apparently.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    mike masnick, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    almost hilarious

    yes shoot em all

     

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    another mike masnick, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    kill

    with supersoakers. that will teach em. o, i forget sum spellin erors

     

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    Adam (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    A topical chainsawsuit

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Wow! I am assuming that they are Christians and if they are their actions certainly don't coincide with their beliefs.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Typical

      Yes, that would be typical Christian behaviour.

      For you see, the ability to believe in a religion is illustrative of an inability to reason.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re: Typical

        Riiiight, because stupid is unique to social groups and not inherent to the human race. I suppose Einstein, for example, had no ability to reason?

        I love how people ascribe fundamental human nature to social groups. Yes, it is possible for social groups and culture to influence behavior, but it makes no sense to act like it is the majority factor.

        Let's play a game:

        The ability to believe in abolishing copyright is illustrative of an inability to reason.

        The ability to believe in gay marriage is illustrative of an inability to reason.

        The ability to believe in global warming is illustrative of an inability to reason.

        See how that whole generalization thing kinda fails?

         

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          Jan Bilek (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Typical

          That thing about Einstein being religious is kind of a myth - "spiritual" would probably be a better word. For example, in his letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind he wrote "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends, which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this".

          About that thing with stupidity being "unique to social groups and not inherent to the human race" - AFAIK nobody in this discussion claimed that stupidity is unique to social groups. But the level of stupidity or ability to reason is not the same in every social group, do you agree?

          Many social groups are self-assigned, you can decide whether you want to be a part of that group or not, and your ability to reason can certainly influence that decision.

          BTW, it never ceases to surprise me how strong emotions can atheism provoke in the U.S. - I live in Europe, I am an atheist, so is most of the people I know and never in my life I encountered any negative reaction from anybody.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

            There are many, many more examples of highly intelligent people that have religious faith than Einstein, which you must know, so not sure why you didn't acknowledge that it doesn't invalidate my general point.

            I agree no one said stupidity is unique to social groups and I don't think I was trying to state that. I was addressing the gross generalization of stating that stupidity was by definition inherent in one social group.

            My point is, that is at best a correlation not a causation and it is highly ignorant to imply otherwise.

            Of course stupidity varies. But I don't think the variation is due to the reasons you might. I don't think the social group itself has much influence on the level of reasoning nor do I believe that a particular group draws people of particular intelligence--there are far greater factors, IMO, that get discounted, such as culture, socioeconomic factors, etc.

            Ultimately, what I'm saying is that characterizing a social group in such a manner is bigoted--its no different than saying all gays are promiscuous. Unfortunately in this case, it seems to be in-vogue so there is a high level of acceptance for the bigotry.

             

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              Ninja (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

              I'm somewhat Christian, somewhat Buddhist, somewhat spiritual. I was raised in the Catholic branch and I do share many of their beliefs but I also disagree with many of other beliefs that are even contradictory to other beliefs (or dogmas if you will).

              But I agree 100% lobo. You can easily generalize that religion does not co-exist with reason. Sure there are great religious ppl that are very wise and reasoned but they are the minority. Personal experience.

              And what I see in the US (and in my country) is that several religious fundamentalism are fighting eachother in the Government trying to pass laws that are aligned to their beliefs onto a population that is multi cultural/religious. This can only lead to disaster.

              In fact, all kinds of fundamentalism (religious -icluding fundamentalist atheists, racist, scientific) are what forms the world we live in today. And in common, all of them are unable to reason and accept their limitations and that ppl are different and think differently. And yes, even the sciences fundamentalists are unable to reason.

              So in summary I'd say that it's not an exclusive problem of the religions (not to be able to reason) but it's a problem of fundamentalists in general. And yes, I am putting Muslims and Christian fundamentalists in the same level because that's where they are.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                Sure there are great religious ppl that are very wise and reasoned but they are the minority. Personal experience.

                That's people in general. Personal experience.

                So in summary I'd say that it's not an exclusive problem of the religions (not to be able to reason) but it's a problem of fundamentalists in general.

                Again, I'd say it's a problem of people in general.

                 

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                Alien Bard, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                And what I see in the US (and in my country) is that several religious fundamentalism are fighting eachother in the Government trying to pass laws that are aligned to their beliefs onto a population that is multi cultural/religious. This can only lead to disaster.

                You do realize the the term "religious fundamentalists" can easily be replaced by many other terms (such as "corporations" or "IP lobbyists") without overly reducing the strength of the statement?

                I don't mean to hijack your point, just thought that seemed relevant to the larger discussion.

                 

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                  Ninja (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                  So in summary I'd say that it's not an exclusive problem of the religions (not to be able to reason) but it's a problem of fundamentalists in general.

                  In my last paragraph.

                  Doesn't hijack anything, religion is the most paramount form of fundamentalism and the reason the US Govt used to put a big spiked dildo into their Constitution arse.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                    Actually, religion and fundamentalism are not the same. It is possible to be a fundamentalist and not be religious. While the term is regularly used to connote attachment to rigid religious beliefs, it is a separable concept.

                    As such, it is also possible to be religious and not fundamentalist. In my experience, that is the norm. Others may have different experiences.

                     

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                      Alien Bard, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                      I absolutely agree.

                      I decided to lump the terms together precisely because they are so commonly seen that way. I was hoping to avoid general confusion/trolling. That is merely meant as an explanation, it does not excuse my doing so. I also realize that phrasing does (however slightly) contribute to the increase in such misconceptions. As such I tender a general apology for doing so.

                       

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        Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

        Re: Re: Typical

        It's not that religious people have an inability to reason; it's that people who have an inability to reason, are drawn to religion.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Typical

          [Citation needed]

           

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            Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

            You missed the point. There are religious people who can reason, but it's almost unheard of that a person without the ability to reason who doesn't ascribe to religion.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

              I didn't miss the point, I'm simply uncomfortable with your sweeping and unfounded assertion. It is an opinion and not one grounded in anything factual. It is unprovable, at best your own personal experience is a correlation, and at worst it is a hasty generalization.

              Let's start with, how exactly would you define the set of people "without the ability to reason"?

              Then let's talk about whether "religion" is even the same thing to those two different sets of people. In other words, how that set of people perceives religion in comparison to the set of people that are capable of reason.

               

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                Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                Like the Big Lebowski said, "You're not wrong, you're just an asshole."

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:28am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                  Nice. The last refuge of a weak argument.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                    And BTW Greevar, I'm truly amazed that you can say those words and still believe you are somehow different than the people discussed in the post above.

                     

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                    Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                    At least it's a last refuge rather than someone like you who takes to ridicule and snarky retorts right away. Go back to your bridge troll.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:30am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                      Snark? So [Citation needed] is ridicule and snark as opposed to a simple method of asking for the basis for your conclusions?

                      You certainly have a thin skin.

                      Maybe if you stopped reading discussions from an "us versus them" perspective you might find them more enlightening. You pretty much never addressed any of my points but instead just attacked me. How am I the troll? Physician, heal thyself.

                       

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                        Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:52am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                        "Nice. The last refuge of a weak argument."

                        That is the snark I am referring to.

                        "Maybe if you stopped reading discussions from an "us versus them" perspective you might find them more enlightening."

                        You have no one to blame for that but yourself. You come to the table with adversarial intent, expect to get the same treatment.

                        "I'm truly amazed that you can say those words and still believe you are somehow different than the people discussed in the post above."

                        Your talent for hyperbole is astounding. When did I ever take it the level of "KILL THEM"? Your intent here is quite plain, to discredit all who possess a point of view that doesn't satisfy you.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                          Again, heal thyself. Adversarial intent? Exactly how does someone have a conversation with you with a different point of view without potentially invoking this horrible state of "adversarial intent"?

                          Please stop dismissing me by categorization. I understand you are very uncomfortable with the idea that you could be being bigoted without realizing. For myself, I could care less if anyone is religious, atheist, or otherwise. That is a personal decision, and one not capable of being judged by anyone else. Anyone who thinks they know all that is knowable is a fool. There may be a god, there may be a hundred gods, there might be no gods... so what?

                          Yes, people use religion to justify stupidity. People use all kinds of things to justify stupidity: terrorism, drugs, personal freedom, yada, yada, yada.

                          What I have a problem with is this idea that it is ok to grossly categorize ANY social, ethnic, or whatever group as being of a particular level of intelligence as you have done. YOU did that, not me.

                           

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                            Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                            Let me make this explicitly clear. I said those that cannot reason tend to be religious. That is not the same as saying the religious people cannot reason. I didn't call theists unintelligent, I'm saying irrational people tend to be those of religious faith. You're claiming I said things that I didn't. Do I need to draw a Venn diagram to explain it?

                             

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                              Sum One, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 12:37am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                              "I said those that cannot reason tend to be religious. That is not the same as saying the religious people cannot reason."

                              Your logic escapes me completely. Can you please explain how those two statements are completely different? The end result of both seem to be exactly the same to me.

                               

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                                Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 6:03am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                                Seriously? This is a simple high school logic equation. You have two groups, (A) those that cannot reason, and (b) those that tend to be religious. A tends to be B, but that doesn't mean the reverse is true, because B is vastly larger than A.

                                 

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                                  Sum One, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                                  Ah yes, now I see. I feel like a dumbass now, but thanks for clarifying. ;)

                                   

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                          nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:36am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                          "Nice. The last refuge of a weak argument."

                          That is the snark I am referring to.


                          To be fair, this was right after you called him an asshole instead of addressing his arguments. That is about the nicest response you could have expected for that.

                           

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                Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                I'm not going to dig up the links for you, but there is a tested correlation between IQ and atheism / theism.

                It lends some support to Greevar's point.

                It by no means says that theists cannot be very intelligent or have tremendous ability to reason, just that there is a negative correlation between believing and IQ across a large dataset.

                PS: Greevar successfully destroyed your argument that you cannot correlate reason with certain groups. What about the followers of that Harold Camping guy who though the world would end this spring. When it didn't, most of them just modified their calculations, and continued believing. They are Christians...but not a very reasonable bunch. Many other more rational Christians made fun of them for being wacky.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                  And a negative correlation means.... oh yeah, not much. You are both seriously going to hang your bigotry on this? How many other gross generalizations do you find yourself comfortable with?

                  And you both are missing my point... basing one's judgments on weak correlations (yes, I'm familiar with the correlations you point out) is pretty much bigotry at its worst.

                  There is a correlation between African Americans and poverty, does that mean they are less intelligent?

                  The difference is that you have somehow concluded that it is uniquely acceptable to generalize and put down those with religious faith--probably because it helps you feel smarter and superior, but this only speculation.

                   

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                    Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:26am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                    Oh, you're cute. Question religion and it's bigotry. Question atheism and it's piety. Nice exhibition of you powers of duality. Do you also make all your major moral decisions with the flip of a coin?

                    Neither I nor Derek make any assertion of superiority, that's your gross delusion. Are straw men your only recourse?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:48am

                      I'm not sure I follow... How can you say that atheists are, as a group, smarter/more capable of reason, but then say you aren't making a claim of superiority?

                       

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                        Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:10am

                        Re:

                        One group doing one thing better than another group does not constitute superiority. I'm sure there's other things that theists do better than atheists. One differing trait does not make one superior.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:26am

                          Re: Re:

                          No, but attitude and tone do. And, btw, I never claimed that questioning atheism is "piety". I find the example postings above quite disgusting. I believe the search for spiritual truth (whatever that is) to be a deeply personal experience and not one subject to judgment by others. You clearly believe judgment is warranted, but don't be surprised when others point out the apparent ignorance and hypocrisy.

                          I'm especially interested in your explanation for why it is ok to abuse one group with highly negative generalizations. All you did was deflect with name calling and claiming a strawman that was never stated.

                           

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                            Greevar (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:44am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            Tone? What possible tone could you acquire from pure text? There is no form of communication that is more devoid of tone. The "attitude" is purely in your mind, for certain.

                            "You clearly believe judgment is warranted, but don't be surprised when others point out the apparent ignorance and hypocrisy."

                            Judgement? What judgement? It's just facts. Theists use faith and belief as their measurement of truth, while atheists use the scientific method to determine truth through observable and measurable evidence. I don't really consider theists to be of lesser merit than others, but I do think their methodology for finding truth to be flawed. That's no different than disagreeing with someone trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. They're doing it wrong, but it doesn't imply that they're inferior human beings.

                             

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                              nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:39am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Oops, you're overgeneralizing. There are theists who use religion for some truths and science for others. People who both go to church every week and believe Darwin was right, for example.

                               

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                          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 11:53am

                          Re: Re:

                          One group doing one thing better than another group does not constitute superiority. I'm sure there's other things that theists do better than atheists. One differing trait does not make one superior.

                          Exactly. For example, just because whites are generally more intelligent and less prone to committing violent crimes than blacks does not mean that they are superior, only different. Blacks are still better at rapping and playing basketball.

                           

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                            Greevar (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 6:16am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            "For example, just because whites are generally more intelligent and less prone to committing violent crimes than blacks..."

                            Can you use blacks as an example without being racist? How about blacks have a skin tone that makes them more resistant to the harsh effects of the sun while whites fairer skin tone allows them to produce more vitamin D through sun exposure? An equally complimentary statement of fact for both groups, without showing a blatant disdain towards one or the other.

                             

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                              Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 6:26am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Besides which, that statement about intelligence is plain nonsense anyway, and while you can dig up statistics to support the violent crime portion of his statement here in 'Merica, one of the still least progressive nations on the planet with regard to race relations, the same cannot be said of those of African decent throughout the world, so that's a social issue, not a genetic one....

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 8:30am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                Besides which, that statement about intelligence is plain nonsense anyway,

                                The numbers say otherwise.

                                you can dig up statistics to support the violent crime portion of his statement here in 'Merica, one of the still least progressive nations on the planet with regard to race relations, the same cannot be said of those of African decent throughout the world, so that's a social issue, not a genetic one....

                                No, that's a general trait throughout the world.

                                 

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                    nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:42am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                    There is a correlation between African Americans and poverty, does that mean they are less intelligent?

                    No, it means they're more poor. Why did you bring a third variable into it?

                     

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                  Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 11:44am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

                  I'm not going to dig up the links for you,

                  Why am I not surprised?

                  ...there is a negative correlation between believing and IQ across a large dataset.

                  Would you like to discuss statistical correlations between race and intelligence or race and criminality as well? Maybe Mike could let you write a front page article about it.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

              Sure, if you replace "ascribe to religion" with "hold any kind of zealous belief".

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

        Re: Re: Typical

        I beg to differ. Anyone who believes in any religion is disqualifed from being classified as "human": they've failed the intelligence test.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Typical

          Too bad for Galileo, Mother Theresa, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Chris Langan (smartest living human by IQ standards), etc.

           

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            Liz, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

            Galileo was seeking truth of the universe, and when he found it and presented the facts, he was put on trial for heresy.

            Mother Theresa lived a life of severe depression, because as she put it, "I did not feel the presence of God."

            Ronald Reagan didn't put his faith in the forefront of his acting or political careers.

            Neither did John Kennedy. The only time his faith came up was when he was running for President. The U.S. hadn't had a someone who claimed to be Catholic as a President before in a time when Protestants were the norm and Catholics were reviled.

            Chris Langan's own writings suggest that his faith and the Bible were of a metaphorical value, not an inherent reality which must be ascribed to without fail.


            The ironic thing about AC's comment is that it is religion is a uniquely "human" aspect. No other creature on this planet demonstrates any aspect of supernatural faith.

             

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              Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical

              Not so! My dog is afraid of fluffy pieces of lint that move in the breeze.

              Not afraid of cars. Not afraid of beehives. Not afraid of skunks. But fluffy lint. Yep, that's her deity.

              What supernatural power she ascribes to that lint, I don't know. But I have considered putting her down for worshiping false idols. I think the god's name is "Ruff".

               

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      Anonymous Atheist, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Wow!

      They call themselves christians, but they have no idea what that means. Who would Jesus shoot?

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

      Re:

      Ever read the Bible? It's chock full of God commanding his chosen people to lay waste to their enemies, so in actual fact, their actions do coincide with their beliefs.

       

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      Dave Casey, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

      Actually their actions do coincide with their beliefs. The bible is full of death and violence. They only endorse peace with other christians. Non believers are condemned to hell. Really peaceful right?

       

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        Alien Bard, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:29am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

        Actually, it is my understanding that hell is were people who willfully disbelieve go. Simply being a non-believer is a forgivable offense.

        On a separate note I have to say that in my experience fanatical atheists are just as bad as fanatical religious nuts. Then again anyone who subscribes to an absolute view without clear evidence is subjecting themselves to belief (even if that belief is dis-belief).

        Personally I prefer to let everyone believe what they like so long as their actions do not hurt others.

         

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          BeeAitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:45am

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

          "Actually, it is my understanding that hell is were people who willfully disbelieve go. Simply being a non-believer is a forgivable offense."

          So proselytizing sends people to hell? If the person was never told about the kingdom (or whatever) then they are forgiven, but the minute a christian tells them and they make the decision that it's a bunch of hooey they go to hell?

          Nice to know some christians are actively damning people.

          "Then again anyone who subscribes to an absolute view without clear evidence is subjecting themselves to belief (even if that belief is dis-belief)."

          Where is this evidence that you speak of? If you have evidence of god I think some people might be interested....

           

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            Alien Bard, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

            The nice thing about being agnostic is that I don't need any evidence. God may - or may not - exist.

            I try to be a good person and that will just have to be good enough. If there is a god/s and I am sent to hell simply for not being a true believer then I will just have to accept that. But given that very few of my friends attend church it doesn't concern me over much. I expect to have plenty of pleasant company wherever I'm going. (How good can heaven be if it takes evil people simply because they believe, and how bad can hell be if it takes good people simply because they don't believe? Assuming either one exists in the first place.)

            As soon as someone comes up with proof I'll be happy to take their side, but I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

            (And please don't rant at me simply because you feel your dis/belief is being threatened. If you need to shore up your assumptions talk to your fellow dis/believers. I'm sure they will agree with you.)

             

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              BeeAitch (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 9:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

              My rant was not directed at you. I just get tired of hearing the "if you don't believe in my religion/denomination you are going to hell" speech.

              Plus, last week the jehovah's witnesses were making their rounds; I'm still a little touchy. ;)

              No offense intended.

               

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                Alien Bard, Aug 19th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

                Understood, and I apologize for snapping back. While there are exceptions to the rule I agree that most JWs are very annoying.

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:43am

      Re:

      "Wow! I am assuming that they are Christians and if they are their actions certainly don't coincide with their beliefs."

      There's a difference between merely calling oneself a Christian and actually being one. Sadly, it seems that most people who call themselves Christian actually aren't.

       

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        Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:01am

        Re: Re: The Faux Decider

        Who the hell are you to decide whether people who claim they are Christian really are?

        Bill O'Reilly get's to decide who is Christian and who is not. Here's how it goes:

        Norwegian mass murderer: not
        People who watch Bill O'Reilly: yes

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:44am

          Re: Re: Re: The Faux Decider

          Who the hell are you to decide whether people who claim they are Christian really are?

          The comment was that they didn't "seem" to be. That was an opinion, and it was based on observation of their actions. There was no claim to being the one who decides, that will be Christ.

          It's also worth noting that the Bible says that those who claim to be believers, but then don't follow the faith, have thus rejected it and are even worse than nonbelievers. Ouch, but I can see the reasoning. Even Satan *believes* in G_d, he just rejects him.

           

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          nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re: The Faux Decider

          Papa Bear O'Reilly also decides who is Muslim. Like that one guy who shot up an army base I think it was. He was a Muslim because he had some Muslim-looking business cards. But yeah, he decided the guy who wrote the 1500-page Christian screed is not Christian.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    The LA Slimes switched to only allowing comments from FB in the LA Now section (to help moderate comments of course). Since I don't have FB I can no longer comment. Given that I have twice recieved a place on the top comments of the week in only a few short months of enjoying this site, I see it as the LA Slimes loss.

    What if the opposite were put in place? No attribution to comments. Would we then judge the comments more on merit than authorship? Could this inspire people to share how they actually feel instead of saying things that promote the image of themselves they have created to impress and fit in with friends, family and/or colleagues?

     

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      btrussell (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:08pm

      Re:

      I can agree with this 100%.

      On the other hand, I also see no problem with having comments tied to a profile.

      For example, I agree with this comment of yours and can judge it on its' merit, but it would also be nice to see other comments of yours to see if you are consistent. A profile. A different one for each site if you like. This will be who you really are, on that site.

      For the most part, I don't judge people immediately for how they appear, or on one brief exchange with them. I take my time judging people. I could decide after two years, that you aren't really someone I want in my life or be associated with in any way. I am looking at a bigger picture than just one comment/sighting.

      A profile would help with accountability as well. The only thing consistent with the shills is that they will flip-flop depending on the circumstances. Just try to pin down what you are buying when making a physical disc purchase. The best I've gotten to is a license that expires when medium it is written on deteriorates. The only license I know of that works that way.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

        Re: Re:

        A profile would help with accountability as well.

        That is why I'm thoroughly against it. Some days I like to troll (some weeks actually). Some days I like to add to the conversation. Some days I pretend to be someone else and try to mimic their writing style. Some days I do my very best to introduce retarded spelling and grammar mistakes into my posts. I don't want to be accountable.

         

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          btrussell (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I see nothing wrong with doing any of that under a profile. It helps me define who you are. How much salt do I need? Do I need to seek out your other comments because I value your opinion/sense of humor?

          In regards to younger posters especially, it can be interesting to watch how thoughts change. Not just ideas, but processes as well.

          I don't see any value in a troll. I see the opposite.

          "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29


          Finally, I didn't mean to imply all comments needed to be tied to that profile. Maybe you wish to be known as a troll and only sign-in to profile when trolling, your choice.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't troll for the value of it. I troll because some days I find it enjoyable. Techdirt isn't my primary trolling community either. Several of us actually get together and decide who we're going to troll (no, I'm not part of Anonymous insofar as that goes).

            Trolling anonymously serves several purposes, and I've actually seen some good (unintentional) come from it. Since I use the word 'infringe' instead of 'steal' or 'theft' in my posts, I've noticed a few others with dissenting opinions move away from the stealing angle, unless that's their primary schtick. Not tons, but it has happened.

            Another purpose is that I can get a rise out of people without it being tied to any account. How am I supposed to impersonate angry dude, Michial Thompson, TAM, or any number of other people by copying their style if I have to sign in? Instead I'll just go somewhere else. Big loss? Not especially. Except you also lose my purposefully constructive comments that I make as well.

            Another good reason for not forcing sign in is that someone may be embarrassed by their beliefs (no matter what people think about standing up for them) an may not want to tie that to any account, ever.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:51am

        Re: Re:

        I can agree with this 100%.

        So you say, and then you go on to argue against his point.

        For example, I agree with this comment of yours and can judge it on its' merit, but it would also be nice to see other comments of yours to see if you are consistent. A profile. A different one for each site if you like. This will be who you really are, on that site.

        Huh? Just how are you going to ensure that a person only has one account? Or that one account is only used by one person? To even begin to do that you have to get rid of anonymity and start checking every commenter's ID.

         

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          nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't think he ever said profiles should be forced or anonymity should be removed. He said "it would be nice" to see a profile. I agree, most of the time I think it would be nice if commenters signed in with a profile. I'm also glad anonymous is allowed, because sometimes I see a story on some other site I would comment on, but don't want to bother creating an account. No anonymous comments? See ya.

          TD allows those, which is great. For someone who is going to comment regularly, I think it would be good to comment under a named account.

           

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      btr1701 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:15pm

      Re:

      > What if the opposite were put in place? No attribution to comments.

      I like attribution because I can search on my own screen name and keep up with which threads I've commented on.

       

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    MondoGordo, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    LOL - Religious "debate"

    religion is rarely debated ... it often has "flames" associated with it tho ...

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Ahhhh Christians, always being so peaceful, forgiving and understanding just like their lord wants.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Wow

    I'd heard that some people really hated atheists, but it was always a vague, abstract concept. Now it's real. The hate in those comments blows my mind.

     

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      Mike42 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

      Re: Wow

      We were actually the most hated group in the US. The tea party just beat us. http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/17/tea_party_poll

       

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      Designerfx (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

      Re: Wow

      It's par for the course in the US. easily 3 in 4 people are quite literally, this fanatical and/or IQ of borderline room temperature.

      You don't see it right away because you don't give "the crazy" a chance to show. However, ask someone what they think about Obama, for example, and you will get responses ranging from pure idiocy/verbal aggression/religious furor to denial of facts. It lines up with common republican/conservative viewpoints but is not limited to the political spectrum.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        That temperature scale is in Kelvin, Fahrenheit or Celsius?

         

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        Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:05pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        You want to hear an opinion on Obama and the Republicans? Obama is an impotent lap-dog president and the Republicans are holding his leash. I've heard parrots say less spoon-fed tripe. Thank goodness McCain didn't get elected though. While we're at it, the Democrats are clueless and their legislation shows it. Fundamentalist partisan politics are tearing this nation to bits that are being sold off in piecemeal to China. Yeah, pretty much that.

         

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      btr1701 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

      Re: Wow

      > I'd heard that some people really hated atheists, but it was
      > always a vague, abstract concept. Now it's real. The hate
      > in those comments blows my mind.

      One thing common to most religions is the peculiar desire of their adherents to kill anyone who doesn't believe what they do. For some reason, it's not enough for them to believe in their god, say their prayers, go to their religious services, etc. Like a drug pusher, they feel compelled to seek out anyone else who doesn't believe in the same things they do and force it down their throats, at the point of a sword, a gun, or an IED.

      I think it stems from a deep-seeded insecurity in their own faith. Somewhere, deep down inside, there's a little voice telling them that it's all bullshit, and they can't stand that, so they lash out at the most visible evidence that their beliefs are nonsense: other people who seem to be leading happy, productive lives without having to slavishly worship some invisible sky tyrant.

       

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      Dave, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:06pm

      Re: Wow

      I am a Christian (and a Mormon), and reading through those comments literally made me sick to my stomach. The one thing I've been able to count on when the subject of religion comes up is a complete and unreasoning flame war. It really seems to bring out the worst in people on both sides.

      The hate espoused by 'believers' sickens me, and the smug superiority of the atheists irritates me. And the worst part is that I *know* that neither side represents a large percentage of the population. If you took a poll of Christians asking if they wanted all atheists dead, or of atheists asking if they really believed that those who believed in God were incapable of rational thought, I doubt that those voting 'Aye' would break 5%. But they are the loud ones, and they are the ones keep rational discussion from happening.

       

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        monkyyy, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        but the trolls are fun to play w/ :D

         

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        Greevar (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

        Re: Re: Wow

        "The hate espoused by 'believers' sickens me, and the smug superiority of the atheists irritates me."

        Neither of which are the norm for their respective group. These are merely a very vocal and visible extreme. You've probably never met a humble atheist because they know you can't persuade or convert theists. They're intelligent enough to know it's an entirely personal and individual realization that they have to come to on their own; a third party involvement will not produce results. It's something you have to figure out on your own, nobody can make you disbelieve. The smug atheists you are familiar with are no different than those bigots that are calling for blood. They're just rotten people on both sides regardless of their philosophical aspirations.

         

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          Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow

          "Neither of which are the norm for their respective group."

          Read his post. That's what he said.

          But your explanation holds merit. The humble one's don't proselytize.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow

          I have friends on both sides of the metaphysical aisle. The 'best' Christian I know (as far as doing what Christians should be doing per Jesus) is a database programmer, devout Christian, is helpful, reasonable, and does not bring up religion to non-religious friends unless they are discussing it anyway. He never pushes it down people's throats, but if asked he simply states that he is a Christian and is happy to talk about it. He is also active in the church, going so far as taking a mission trip to southeast Asia to work on bible translation software on his own (and the people who donated) dime.

          The best atheist I know is a wonderful person. We actually dated a while back. She is reasonable, enjoys religious debate (not just bashing, but actually discussing the merits of general religion for the masses versus the principle of atheism for the individual), and has many friends of many different religions.

          I know of these loud-mouthed nut jobs, but I don't know them personally. The people I know on both sides are reasonable and usually get along with each other.

           

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Sigh...

    It never ceases to amaze me how many religious folks defend their religion in a manner their own religion would abhore. I think perhaps the bible in particular should change some of it's more famous quotes:

    -2SA 3:21 Then Abner said to David, "Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a compact with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires. And if they resist, I'ma shoot them. Shoot to kill. For 'Merica."

    -6:12 "As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. But if you don't, YOU CAN DIE AN GO TO HELL HAHA IF I COULD ID SHOOT ALL OF YOU IN THE HEAD WITH A 12GUAGE."

    -Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty. And if people don't realize it, i say kill them all and let them see for themselves if there is a God.

    -In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. KILL THEM.

    -"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And will he not nail them to the cross then display it?"

    -"But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, they're atheists so it won't matter if you kill them."

    Man....Jesus was mean.

    *This mashup of bible quotes and comments by devout hillbilly redneck 'Mericans was brought to you by The You Suck At Your Own Religion Corporation, in conjunction with public funding by The Go Outside And Play Hide And Go Fuck Yourself Group....

     

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      You're not wrong, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Sigh...

      II Kings 2:23-24

      "From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys."

      Christians are not to be fucked with, especially the ones alive before Christ was born.

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re: Sigh...

        And then there's that other episode, where the big G wanders up to Stan and says "hey, go ahead and rape the hell out of this guy 'cause he likes me. He won't mind. No really, kill his whole family and destroy his wealth and give him like 30 STD's, he'll be praising the big G the whole time."

        That's totally one of my favorite episodes of Bible Fiction Television.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

          1. If there were "thousands" of comments like these, why the need to cut-and-paste only selected comments? A screenshot of the entire browser would be a lot more convincing.

          2. Why only include comments that happened either 6 hours or 20/21 hours ago (according to the timestamps)? Were there no other offensive comments between those times?

          3. The number of people who have accepted this image as - dare I say it? - "gospel" is truly astounding. I thought healthy skepticism was a trademark of the non-believer crowd...

           

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            PT, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            I for one am glad I was spared the ordeal of reading the whole thread, Anonymous Christian^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HCoward.

             

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            Se7ensamurai (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            I know what your saying, but i really think these were grabbed solely to point out that just because people use real names, there can still be incendiary comments. I don't think the point was to prove that all fox news readers are angry psycho Christians.

            Putting aside any religious arguments, weather you use your real name or not, it doesn't seem to matter when it comes to flame wars. I'm sure there may have been reasoned arguments mixed in with these, but it wasn't really the point.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

              I don't think the point was to prove that all fox news readers are angry psycho Christians.


              That wasn't Mike's point in this particular post, but I've been following this for a couple of weeks now and that's definitely how the Christian-bashers are spinning it.

               

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                abc gum, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

                "Christian-bashers"

                That's rich .... are you implying that only the Christians are picked upon and all other religions get a free pass?
                This is hilarious.

                 

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              senshikaze (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

              because we can all name at least one person in our life that has said something to this effect within earshot. I don't think it represents all Faux News watchers, nor all Christians, but it is something we have all heard/seen.

               

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                abc gum, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

                "I don't think it represents all Faux News watchers, nor all Christians,"

                There has to be least one Faux News watching Christian who thinks these people are batshit crazy.

                 

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                  senshikaze (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:30am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

                  I am good friends with three Christians who were dismayed when they read it. (whether they watch Faux News, never came up, though)

                   

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                nasch (profile), Aug 29th, 2011 @ 9:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

                Something to the effect that atheists should be killed? No, I don't recall ever hearing anyone say that in person.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh...

            http://www.facebook.com/holeschek?sk=wall

            This person, at least, seems plausibly stupid enough.

             

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        Blatant Coward (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re: Sigh...

        If this is how Christians treat their kids, I guess a shotgun to the back of the head is getting off easy.

        Judges 30-31, 34-39

        And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you will let us beat the ever living shit out of the Ammonites then first person I see when I get home, I will set on fire as a burnt offering to you.’

        Then Jephthah came home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no other kids. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Why did it have to be you. I promised God to set you on fire.’ She said to him, ‘My father, if you have opened your mouth to God, you have to do it.’

        'Give me two months to wander the hills and complain that I'll die a virgin and I will return. Two months later she returned-still a virgin, and he set her ass on fire.'

         

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        Mik, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:46am

        Re: Re: Sigh...

        To quote cracked.com:

        "Kids, don't fuck with god or bears will eat you!"

        http://www.cracked.com/article_15699_the-9-most-badass-bible-verses.html

         

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Sigh...

      Sweet Jesus, I almost wet my pants. You, Mister, are doing it religiously right!

       

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    HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Holy shit I think Sindy Clock might be one of our regular ACs. Check out her other comment: "I love Jesus, and the cross and if you dont, I hope someone rapes you!"

    sounds familiar.....


    http://onemansblog.com/2011/08/06/christians-openly-advocate-killing-athiests-on- fox-news-facebook-page/

     

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    sheenyglass (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Communities are often sociopaths.

    The idea that real names enhance discourse is based on the false assumption that misbehavior is usually anti-social, and will be reduced by community shaming. In fact the most horrific cruelty in human history has been done in furtherance of community norms such as racism, misogyny and religious intolerance.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:15am

      Re: Communities are often sociopaths.

      The idea that real names enhance discourse is based on the false assumption that misbehavior is usually anti-social, and will be reduced by community shaming. In fact the most horrific cruelty in human history has been done in furtherance of community norms such as racism, misogyny and religious intolerance.

      Those things were considered good at the time, and people were socially pressured to accept them. The real purpose of real names is discourage people from speaking out against today's bad things (and judge if they have sufficiently supported them).

       

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        sheenyglass (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re: Communities are often sociopaths.

        I agree with you that the effect will be to dissuade people from taking stands against malevolent conventions. Although I think this side effect is a non-factor in the decision to implement real names. I think its more likely that the policy is intended to facilitate the gathering of more useful marketing data by allowing a more complete profile to be constructed and making it more difficult to obscure personal information.

         

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    trish, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    lolz

    death threats to someone because they're atheist... from religious people i assume. How ironic.

     

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      VMax, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

      Re: lolz

      Don't assume religion as a reason. We atheists like to threaten and kill each other. We don't have a god to tell us that it's wrong, and without a god we'd all just do whatever we want.

       

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    crade (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    sheesh, I thought we were all supposed to be banding together to hate on the muslims and chinese these days.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    They can use their real names here as well!

    WWJD - The Facebook Group.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    These are the same people who would claim that only people of the Islamic faith would ever advocate violence I'm sure.

     

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    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    real

    perhaps Sindy Clock lives in world where this behavior is the norm. using real names in comments isn't that much of a problem then.

     

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      Blatant Coward (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

      Re: real

      There is that facebook picture of her that comes up using her name in google images of her singing in what looks like church choir robes. Honestly I'm not going to her church.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    I find it hilarious when morons make xenophobic comments and attach their own photographs, like that one kid who was holding a "save Darfur" sign while wishing Japan gets hit by another tsunami. They might as well tattoo things like "shoot me," "don't hire me," or "insert brain here" on their foreheads.

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Yeah, very christian-like responses. What's funny is the #1 commandment that most christians break 100% of the time...Ironically, it's the first commandment for the Roman Catholic Church, Second commandment for everyone else...

    "You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me."

    If memory serves me...I think most Christian-based religions worship a statue of Jesus on a cross.

    By my logic...EVERYONE'S going to hell, so keep the beer cold for when I come join you.

     

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      HothMonster, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

      Re:

      They are not idols they are symbols and they are respected not worshipped......or some bullshit like that, thats what i remember the second nun telling me after the first one just whacked me for asking such an insolent question. Ahhhhhhh Catholicism, so full of irony and hypocrisy.


      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07636a.htm
      this would probably have their actual position but i decided i didn't care enough to read it after i looked it up so i dont know

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

        Re: Re:

        I think Catholics get to pray to saints though. But it is just to ask them to put in a good word with the big guy though. I never really understood the difference though.

         

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Whacking Logic

        Yes, that seems to be the standard answer to any kind of question which casts doubt on religious belief. Instead of responding with their brains, they respond with their adrenal glands.

         

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      hegemon13, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      "If memory serves me...I think most Christian-based religions worship a statue of Jesus on a cross."

      Your memory does not serve you. There are those in the church who, in my opinion, do pay too much reverence to symbols, but most Christian churches do not ascribe any power to a the cross. It is simply a reminder of sacrifice.

      Let's just keep this in mind: every person is an individual. Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc, all are human beings with their own behaviors, fears, loves, and personalities. It is unfortunate that the loudest ones are usually the most wicked of any group.

      And the idea that "atheists should just go to hell" is a horrifying position. As Christians, it is our job to show love and share God's Word. That's it. It is not our job to convert. It is not our job to use force. It is not our job to shame. It is not our job to place demands or pass judgment on one's soul. Such prideful and arrogant attempts lead only to violence and resentment. Only the Holy Spirit creates faith. Not threats and bigotry.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Is there a link anywhere on the Internet to the original thread? I've looked, and the most original source I can find is a cut-and-pasted image with no link to the place where all these comments supposedly came from.

    The fact that this so-called thread merges two of the Left's favorite boogeymen - Christians and Fox News - is setting off all kinds of BS alarms.

    What I find interesting is how many people - including in this thread - are using the comments to reaffirm their pre-existing biases without bothering to dig deeper into the story.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    On like minded forums, having your real name displayed is unlikely to discourage hateful comments if the rest of the forum is likely to agree with the comment.

    On more sensible forums with a diversity of opinions (like here), a real name policy would likely filter out the truly fucked up statements because they would not be endorsed by the rest of the community.

     

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      Mike42 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      Well, I for one would not post if everyone knew who I was. I tend to take a more liberal view than most of my employers/coworkers here in the midwest. I don't need the hassle.

      I guess that makes me truly f**ked up. Darn.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:19am

      Re:

      "On more sensible forums with a diversity of opinions (like here), a real name policy would likely filter out the truly fucked up statements because they would not be endorsed by the rest of the community."

      You mean like yours?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re:

        Go on then, what was wrong with my statement?

        Did you think I was endorsing the opinions of the people on the Fox News page?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Go on then, what was wrong with my statement?"

          Oh, the irony is high. Someone supporting real names as a way to "filter out the truly fucked up statements" then not using their real name. What, are you afraid of being "filtered"?

           

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      One_of_the_Norm (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      On like minded forums, having your real name displayed is unlikely to discourage hateful comments if the rest of the forum is likely to agree with the comment.

      I fully agree with this. I would even take it one step further, in that if others appear to agree with the hateful comment it then "feels" easier or safer for others to continue that line of comments.

      I see real name displays as only helping to quell comments if the rest of the forum/thread disagrees with the original comment. If it agrees with it or even passively allows it, there is a chance it will actually encourage similar comments from others.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Ask Blizzard about Real Names.....

    They came up with the idea that they would force people to use their real names, in an effort to curb the vileness on the forums.

    No only was there a riot on the forums, but they lost several subscribers in the process, from the discussion alone.

    Thankfully for them, they backed out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    say im the only bee in your bonnet

    make a little birdhouse in your soul.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    My firstborn shall be named Anonymous Coward.

     

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    Andrew (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    "Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power

    Related to this, a recent post from danah boyd discusses the problems of enforcing a real names policy and the groups of people who are most affected by it. The whole thing is well worth reading.


    What's most striking is the list of people who are affected by "real names" policies, including abuse survivors, activists, LGBT people, women, and young people.

    Over and over again, people keep pointing to Facebook as an example where "real names" policies work. This makes me laugh hysterically. One of the things that became patently clear to me in my fieldwork is that countless teens who signed up to Facebook late into the game chose to use pseudonyms or nicknames. What's even more noticeable in my data is that an extremely high percentage of people of color used pseudonyms as compared to the white teens that I interviewed. Of course, this would make sense...

    The people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power. "Real names" policies aren't empowering; they're an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Talk Masked
    http://ci3hn2uzjw2wby3z.onion/

    I find the conversations over TalkMasked to be more civil overall.

     

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    akp, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Wow..

    These people sicken me. They make me despair of our civilization ever growing more "civilized."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Is the Sindy Clock the same as on Facebook who has the page address ....facebook.com/hopeyougetraped?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    You have to listen to the original clip. One of the Fox News hosts actually said:

    "I guess this is what happens when you don't believe in god. You have all this extra time 'cause you're not praying. You use it for unproductive things like suing about this."

    I must admit that I had never realized that not praying gave me extra time. I had also never realized that I was wasting that time. I will pronto start putting that time to good use. I am looking forward to the day when the atheists have become more productive than the religious people and we can crush them under our boots of non-believing.... or something...

    Later one of the hosts said something about how:

    "We all have to be libertarian about this."

    What the hell is libertarian about erecting a religious symbol on taxpayer dollars?

    I must say that the most scary part is the comments right next to the smiling pictures. You see that and you start to ask yourself: These people look normal. Yet, they are a bunch of lunatics who seem to be willing to wage religious war. Who else is a lunatic masquerading as a normal person?

    PS: I'm pretty sure there are laws against issuing death threat. And I'm pretty sure the people who said: "KILL THEM" or "someone show me where they live&and they will live no mere!" I might go buy myself a gun so I can defend myself against the crazy zombie worshippers.

     

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      Ed C., Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

      Re:

      "the crazy zombie worshippers"

      I'm not sure if you meant that the worshipers were zombies, or that they worship a zombie? Oh well, fits either way.

      Ironically, it seems that becoming an atheist made me more abhorrent to violence--the realization that we all only get one go around on this world makes life the most precious thing in all of the cosmos.

       

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        monkyyy, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:57pm

        Re: Re:

        changing = growing, (even if i disagree w/ u, and i do)
        the more u change urself from the carnal(faith) or monkey-like(science) state, the less violent u will be

        if a mopey teenager goes from "dust in the wind" type mind set to realigen(the sane ones at lest) or shallow redneck realizes everyone around them are idiots; it will be a improvement

         

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    KO, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Hate speech

    Yes, those who are narrow-minded tend to stay that way unless a big event, say even an act of "God" scares the shit out of them, and they develop a sense of empathy and tolerance for others. Just jawing at them doesn't work. Who argues with a crazy person? You will never win.

    On a side note: Google+ is requiring REAL NAMES in order to use the expanded tools. It has been pointed out that special characters and numbers are not allowed. That cuts out a fair number of people! I should be glad that they didn't block me because there is an "'" in my name??!!

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    You know, I don't like the real names policy at all. However, I am really glad that those violent bigots have outed themselves that way. I am sure that their posts were duly noted by reputation services and that they will now find themselves having a hard time job hunting.

     

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    Beta (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    sample bias

    Those comments were on the Fox News Facebook page. These are not typical commenters, or even typical Christians, they are Fox News Christians. Just search YouTube for "fox atheist", get an idea of the station's own standards of intellect and civility, and then try to imagine their fanbase. Heck, for all we know they might be even worse when they can wear masks. For a fair comparison we should look at a site before and after pseudonymity is banned.

    But the real question is not whether people are less rude when they must expose their real names. The real question is twofold:

    1. How does the imposition of a real name requirement change the discourse on a site, and
    2. if that change is for the better, is it worth the nuisance to the users (e.g loss of privacy, fear of being haunted by one's words in the distant future, headaches of proving one's identity)?

     

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    Makoto (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    "High Level" of Conversation

    If you want a high level of conversation, be it with someone using their real name or a pseudonym, it's easiest to avoid conversations where emotions run high and sense runs low (e.g. religion, politics, family values, etc.).

    I just find it ironic [and quite pathetic, really] that this particular example shows Christians flaming Atheists. I'm Christian too, and I have Atheist friends. Does this make me a bad Christian? Wait a minute - Matthew 7:1, right??

     

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      crade (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

      Re: "High Level" of Conversation

      So you are saying sticking to the weather will give you a high level of conversation? People with strong opinions can turn out great conversation. If you want a high level of conversation just be more choosy about how you talk to and stay away from the murderous psychopaths.

       

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        Makoto (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:40pm

        Re: Re: "High Level" of Conversation

        This is why I said it was "easiest". I have stimulating conversations with my friends and close family regarding religion and politics all the time. We're all mature enough to respect one another's opinions, and keep things egoless in those debates.

        With people you don't know, and/or can't gauge how they would react to such discussion, it's easiest to avoid it, in my experience. Facebook, or any service where public posting is permitted, makes these kinds of things worse.

        TL;DR: Yes, you can have high levels of conversation with total strangers, even with controversial topics. Avoiding them is best so you get less crap for bringing it up in the first place.

         

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          crade (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:27am

          Re: Re: Re: "High Level" of Conversation

          It may be the easiest way to avoid angering people that way, but it won't help you get a "high level" of conversation.

           

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    gorehound (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Kill Kill Kill them All !!!

    I am a well versed man on WW2 Eastern Front Combat.reading some of those statements made me think of this.so I did a little copy & paste for you to read.Of course knowing me and hearing the word FOX NEWS and reading the mindless brainwashed people I decided that you can all just replace the word GERMAN or GERMANS with republican right Wing Christians. Hahahahahaha !!! Hate is a lovely emotion !!!!


    [The following text is from premier Soviet propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg. Spurred on by this brand of ethnic hatred, it is no wonder that the Red Army committed such a vast number of atrocities.]

    "The Germans are not human beings. Henceforth the word German means to us the most terrible curse. From now on the word German will trigger your rifle. We shall not speak any moe. We shall not get excited. We shall kill. If you have not killed at least one German a day, you have wasted that day... If you cannot kill your German with a bullet, kill him with your bayonet. If there is calm on your part of the front, if you are waiting for the fighting, kill a German before combat. If you leave a German alive, the German will hang a Russian and rape a Russian woman. If you kill one German, kill another - there is nothing more amusing for us than a heap of German corpses. Do not count days; do not count miles. Count only the number of Germans you have killed. Kill the German - this is your old mother's prayer. Kill ther German - this is what your children beseech you to do. Kill the German - this is the cry of your Russian earth. Do not waver. Do not let up. Kill."

    (Text is found in Ilya Ehrenburg's book Vojna (The war) (Moscow, 1942-43)

     

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    Donny (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Well it's true what they say

    No atheists in fox holes...(cos they get torn to pieces down there)

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:32am

      Re: Well it's true what they say

      Amusingly, a group of atheists in military service have actually started a group called 'Atheists in Foxholes'

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Those people talking violence aren't Christians.

     

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    Bengie, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    Real names

    Real names for FB/G+ I think is good because they're meant for social networking where you know a person

    Real names for forum type responses is bad because you're more likely to strike up an argument. I'm not a fan of arguments and back&forth on my G+, but I am just fine for responses after an article.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    As a born again Atheist (see: Christian turned atheist) I find that the more Atheist I become, the more Christ-like I become.
    As an Atheist, I feel no ill will toward those above who have been lied to their entire life, and I hope they find some peace in this lifetime.
    If it I am threatened by a fundamentalist Christian in this, the only thing I can do is turn the other cheek. Hate only begets hate.

     

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    abc gum, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:45pm

    Hopefully these people are now on the no fly list.

     

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      Blatant Coward (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      Yer No Fly list means nothing!
      Angel robes cannot be groped!
      Halos cannot be backscatter detected!
      Cherubimic wings cannot be grounded!
      Celestial Harps cannot be Rick Rolled!
      Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah AMEN!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    What would Jesus do?

    I highly doubt he would resort to violence. After all, he did die for our sins.


    The people aren't Christians, these people are blood hungry semi retarded people looking for a cause to stand behind. They are no better than Islamic/Jewish/Hindu fundamentalists.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:01pm

      Re:

      If you don't think he would resort to violence, you should probably re-read the bible.

      But then, if you're basing your life on a book of fairy tales and legends about an imaginary man in the sky written by a bunch of uneducated goat herders in a desert thousands of years ago, you're probably beyond help.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Jeeeesus I don't know, but God according to the Bible nuked Sodoma and Gomorrah at least once, cleanse the earth from the bad people raising the waters for 40 days, parted the waters and killed all the soldiers fallowing his children, blinded, maimed and punished a lot of others violently.

        So I can't put it past him, now the true God the pastafarian God would never do such a thing.

         

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    disfit (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 9:46pm

    Any arrests?

    What strikes me is that I have not heard of any arrests of these people who call for or threaten (mass) murder and/or torture.

    Or does this only happen when you make similar asinine comments via Twitter aimed at infrastructure or political movements?

    PS Not that I think people should get arrested for making asinine comments, but some consistency would be a nice change.

     

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      BeeAitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re: Any arrests?

      "What strikes me is that I have not heard of any arrests of these people who call for or threaten (mass) murder and/or torture."

      Response to threats only applies to non-christians.

       

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        BeeAitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re: Any arrests?

        Qualifier: in christian-dominated cultures.

         

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        BeeAitch (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re: Any arrests?

        Qualifier: in christian-dominated cultures.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

        Re: Re: Any arrests?

        "What strikes me is that I have not heard of any arrests of these people who call for or threaten (mass) murder and/or torture."

        Response to threats only applies to non-christians.


        So you're saying that a person could threaten, say, the president and there would be no response as long as they were Christian? You really believe that? Really?

         

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    Liz, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

    I really like the part where one of them suggested crucifying someone. Because nothing stops a person from believing like nailing a guy to a post.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:09am

    Legal Responsibility

    There's also the question of legal responsibility. If you say something that I could sue you for, then I need a way for my lawyer to find out who you are and profile what other things you've said.

     

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      identicon
      A. Turney, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:15am

      Re: Legal Responsibility

      There's also the question of legal responsibility. If you say something that I could sue you for, then I need a way for my lawyer to find out who you are and profile what other things you've said.

      Yes, I agree. Requiring the use of real names is just the responsible thing to do from the perspective of protecting people's right to sue.

       

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    Alien Bard, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Honestly, what difference does it make? How hard is it to create a false name or even a complete false identity?

    Internet IDs don't have to be obvious, they can be completely innocent looking realistic names with backgrounds, physical addresses, account histories, etc. The only thing they can't easily obtain are government documents (unless you live in a country with more relaxed rules). Even non-realistic names can develop solid backgrounds. I've used 'Alien Bard' on a couple of real-life accounts and for mail order purposes with companies I didn't trust.

    Personally, I consider 'Alien Bard' to be like a stage name. Among other things it is certainly better known. If I were ever to do something immature like flaming someone I would certainly not want to endanger this persona's reputation. It would be so much safer and more anonymous to simply create a false ID and log in using a proxy.

    Be grateful for the existing cultural AKA trend. Anonymity does not need to be so obvious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
    - Romans 12:14


    Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
    - Romans 12:17


    ...Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Christian who actually reads his Bible.

     

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    Wes Sumner (profile), Aug 19th, 2011 @ 6:12am

    I think what he is saying, is that certainly there are those religious individuals who can reason, such as Sir Isaac Newton or Galileo. On the converse side, religion tends to attract those who cannot reason properly, and results in such as "extremists", the KKK, The Inquisition, etc.

    This is the point I believe he was attempting to make.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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