RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE - Facebook Group
Join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/groups/respectful.dialogue/
WHY DID I START THIS GROUP?
This group was started because of my experience with atheists.
The vast majority of atheists that I encountered in atheist forums eventually resorted to insult and / or ad hominem fallacy when I did not agree with them 100%. ( There were also many polite, educated atheists with whom it was a joy to discuss.) The Moderators approved of atheists insulting non-atheists but those who insulted atheists were warned or banned. This type of hypocrisy was rampant in the vast majority of atheist forums I was a member of or visited.
The obnoxious type of atheists were as “angry [mean], argumentative, dogmatic [closeminded]" as any fundamentalist creationist Christian I had ever met. (See http://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/science-shows-new-atheists-to-be-mean-and-closed-minded/ & http://www.atheismresearch.com/ ) Many philosophers and theologians indeed call them "fundamentalist atheists". The only difference was that fundamentalist creationist Christians were not as insulting as the atheists.
Along with being “angry [mean], argumentative, dogmatic [closeminded]" the obnoxious type of atheists wrongly assumed that they had a higher IQ and were more logical and rational than any non- atheist though the vast majority had never studied the domain of logic and rationality - philosophy. Many atheists had never read the religious texts that they criticised or, if they did, could only read them in a naive amateur literalist manner. They knew very little about the nuances of hermeneutics. They regularly criticised religions though they had never met in person anyone from the religion they were criticising. They, again, knew very little about the religion's various dogmas and the different denominations within the religion.
One quite famous atheist who has a "cult" regularly uses his catch phrase of "Logic!" while at the same time sprouting some of the most illogical and irrational nonsense in an “angry [mean], argumentative, dogmatic [closeminded]" manner peppered with as many swear words that he can think of. “angry [mean], argumentative, dogmatic [closeminded]" isn't any way to persuade people to adopt your worldview.
Each month new atheists are added to this group. I have blocked more atheists for not following the group rules than any other group of people.
1. No personal insult of members or individuals.
2. No insult of deities / prophets / spokespeople
3. No posting threads irrelevant to the aim of the group.
One would think that these minimal rules would be easy to follow but apparently they are quite difficult for some atheists who are regularly encouraged to to do the exact opposite on many forums.
Learn how to dialogue.
Dialogue is the creative thinking together that can emerge when genuine empathetic listening, respect for all participants, safety, peer relationships, suspending judgment, sincere inquiry, courageous speech, and discovering and disclosing assumptions work together to guide our conversations. It is an activity of curiosity, cooperation, creativity, discovery, and learning rather than persuasion, competition, fear, and conflict. Dialogue is the only symmetrical form of communication. Dialogue emerges from trusting relationships. ...
- Balance Inquiry and Advocacy ...
- Listening to understand ...
- Suspending judgment ...
- Respecting all: Attribute positive motives and constructive intent to each participant. Appreciate all that is good about them, all that you share in common with them, and all they can contribute. Acknowledge the dignity, legitimacy, worth, and humanity of the person speaking. Allow for differing viewpoints and learn all you can from them. Examine the origins within your self of any tendency you have to disrespect participants. Resist your temptation to blame. Remain humble and accept that they can teach us and we can learn from them. Attain and appreciate their viewpoint; do not attack, intrude, deny, dismiss, dispute, or discount their comments. Banish violence.
- Speaking your voice ...
“People don't listen, they reload.” ...
“The unity of contraries is the mystery at the innermost core of dialogue.” ~ Martin Buber ...
“Inquiry and violence cannot coexist.” ~ Peter Garrett
“The magic of dialogue is that it really does enhance respect and acceptance of others.” ~ Daniel Yankelovich ...
“There is something valid in every position.” ~ Johan Galtung ...