The Thinking Atheist Forum Shutting Down

I wasn’t sure where to put this, but I suppose it doesn’t matter in light of what this thread is meant to be about, which is: all that work over all those years; all the anally retentive organization, categorization, keeping discussions on topic; all the moderation, banning, stressing over people bickering because “this is serious business here!” and all the work meant to build something lasting, meaningful, important just went POOF! Gone like dust in the wind.

I considered signing up there a year or so ago, but was turned off by the fact they showcase their banned like trophies under the guise of “transparency”. … Log–20087

Anyway, apparently forum participation has atrophied:

Less is more? Less government or less functionality?

No point in enforcing the rules now I suppose :laughing:

But what was the point before? :confusion-scratchheadyellow:

If everything ends, then why does it matter?


So much for “thinking atheists” :smiley:

sorry for ur loss tho.

Fucking sucks when they pull that.

=D> Well done! I was beginning to come around to that conclusion on my own. “The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.”

Realizing that is especially hard on a sentimental person like me. I’m a cling-on :laughing:


I appreciate it, but I never signed up there, so it doesn’t matter to me. I tried an atheist board once, but I’m not atheist nor christian, so I don’t make friends too easily :confused: :laughing:

I just happened to have been listening to Seth Andrews on youtube when he said he used to be a fundamentalist christian with a christian radio show and I thought “wow he’s a lot like me!”. I wondered what flipped him, so I looked him up and found the thinking atheist site. The coincidence of events seemed somehow meaningful to me, so I posted it here.

Oh dear me!

I was a longtime member there but stopped posting in about September because it was too painful. I am surprised it’s shut down but, to be honest, I’m glad, because I constantly complained about the ritual abuse dished out to anyone who wasn’t part of the “in” crowd and dared express an opinion of their own. Oh well, sic transit gloria mundi.

The atheist community has portrayed itself to me as a wounded animal best observed from a distance. They should work on not being the monster they are fighting.

Stefan Molyneux, for instance, preaches laissez-faire but his forum has more rules than any I have encountered. He monopolizes conversations, hangs up on people, bans people, and comes across as the biggest megalomaniacal authoritarian control-freak since Yahweh himself. If that’s his idea of freedom then I’d hate to see what he considers oppression.

That reminds me of something Jordan Peterson said: if you think you’d be a benevolent leader, then you’d be the most tyrannical of all. (or something like that)

He is a terrible thinker, and with such an inflated sense of his abilities.

It always makes me laugh when people proclaim to fight for freedom through shutting people down - the whole point of what is meant by “freedom” is that messy disagreement is doing to happen whenever variation in perspective etc shows up, which is going to be a lot whenever people are free enough to explore different avenues - not to have everyone agree with you. The fact that you’re arguing with people who disagree at all only proves that freedom of speech is present.

As you say, he just wants to be “free” as in uncontested to impose his own Authoritarianism, which he’s simply “called” free.

JP is another example of the above, but much more humble and a much better thinker.

However, the notion that those who think they’d be the most benevolent would end up being the most tyrannical just sounds like a catch-all adage to shut people down who want to try something more benevolent. It isn’t devoid of truth, often those who think they’d be the best at anything are simply ignorant of why they wouldn’t be, but that applies either way and doesn’t rule out that someone can be right that they’d be a benevolent leader without being tyrannical.

I never tried the Thinking Atheist Forum, but sounds like it was just another instance of those with good intentions ending up tyrants, which might be common but isn’t an absolute rule.

There should always be at least one tyranny though: the tyranny of logic. “Truth” and “facts” ought to be “adhered to” and optimally aspired to rather than tyrannies whenever they are outside the realm of logic, because too often they are contingent and subject to interpretation. What we might think they are can be improved, even revolutionised. One thing people always seem to do is conflate rule and morality - the former you have to stick to, the latter you ought to because it’s most likely better to do so (particularly socially) but you don’t have to. Morality is a good, but not absolute (it is relative and circumstantial afterall). I distinguish between logic and reason, even though they are most often meant and used as synonymous, in the sense that logic is an explicit set of rules where reason can be used to imply logic but along with what might “seem” sensible rather than what necessarily is the case. Irrationality can be ok in that it encourages creativity and variation from what seems reasonable, but the illogical is never ok. The funny thing is, all people arguing/debating in favour of freedom are attempting to use the unfreedom that I have just explained to convince people to agree with them. Logical argument for freedom is thus a contradiction in terms, and so often overlooked. Many things that are all conflated into what is meant by “freedom” are more moral than absolute and it’s so frustrating that so many people seem to lack the ability to understand this. This is why those who argue for freedom of speech etc are pursuing an important cause, but the more devout they are the more fundamentally flawed these thinkers are in the way I have just described. I believe Nietzsche recognised this, and I have come across Zizek saying this too - the only two true geniuses of whom I am aware. Sam Harris and even Robert Sapolsky (two highly admired thinkers of mine) may be there, or at least on their way there - each masters of understanding at its contemporary heights. Most others are trash with JP around the top border and Molyneux around the bottom.

I had to look up Stephan Molyneux… and he is your
prototypical right wing hack who shouts about freedom,
which in the usual right wing language means only freedom
for what he wants and his language, not your freedom and
certainly not for your language…

please do not equate molyneux, a partisan right wing hack,
with the left…for we practice, far better then the right,
the ideals and principles that we advocate for……


Yep, reminds me of a George Carlin bit:


FWD to 5:25

These people call themselves right-to-lifers. Don’t you love that phrasing? Don’t you love the way these kind of people pervert the English language? Right-to-lifers. You realize that most of the right-to-lifers are in favor of the death penalty and they support the South American death squads and they’re against gun control and they’re against nuclear weapons control… When they say right to life, they’re talking about their right to decide which people should live or die!

So, when they talk about freedom, they’re referring to their freedom to decide what freedoms everyone else gets.

After watching Matt Dillahunty mop the floor with JP in a theist/atheist debate, I can attest that JP is indeed humble

But I think he just hasn’t come to a place where he can admit to himself that what he has always known was wrong. I also went through the stage of finding ever more creative arguments to support a sinking idea.

I probably quoted him wrongly since that was 3 years ago, but I think you’ve discerned some nuggets of truth nonetheless.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and I think Hitler had good intentions. Some white supremacist fella once relayed an epiphanous idea to me that I’ve retained which goes: in order to love, you must hate the thing that threatens what you love. Like, boom! I never thought about it like that before. In order to be filled with benevolence, you must also be filled with hate. So if you passionately love some particular idea, you’ll just as fervently oppose what threatens it and thereby become a tyrannical monster. I think that was what JP was alluding to. I think he called it the “mama bear syndrome” or something. Because the bear loves her cubs, you better look out!

If you’re not sure that you’d make a good leader, then you might be a good one (or maybe not). But if you’re sure you would, then you most certainly wouldn’t. ← I think that better captures what he meant to say.

I love this Ben Franklin bit :romance-heartstiny:

[i]Benjamin Franklin’s Final Speech in the Constitutional Convention
from the notes of James Madison

Mr. President:
I confess that I do not entirely approve of this Constitution at present, but Sir, I am not sure I shall never approve it: For having lived long, I have experienced many Instances of being oblig’d, by better Information or fuller Consideration, to change Opinions even on important Subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow the more apt I am to doubt my own Judgment, and to pay more Respect to the Judgment of others. Most Men indeed as well as most Sects in Religion, think themselves in Possession of all Truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far Error. Steele, a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only Difference between our two Churches in their Opinions of the Certainty of their Doctrine, is, the Romish Church is infallible, and the Church of England is never in the Wrong. But tho’ many private Persons think almost as highly of their own Infallibility, as of that of their Sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French Lady, who in a little Dispute with her Sister, said, I don’t know how it happens, Sister, but I meet with no body but myself that’s always in the right. Il n’y a que moi qui a toujours raison.

In these Sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution: For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our Enemies, who are waiting with Confidence to hear that our Councils are confounded, like those of the Builders of Babel, and that our States are on the Point of Separation, only to meet hereafter for the Purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.[/i]

I’m sure he’d make a good leader because he’s not sure. Er, maybe it’s better to say I’m not sure he’d be a bad leader. :slight_smile:

Yes the good intentions led straight to hell. We must always be vigilant that we don’t become the thing we’re fighting as it’s so easy to do. How do we embark on a righteous crusade against righteousness? Hello, there is no god and I am his prophet. :slight_smile:

I’m in perfect agreement with all that except I don’t understand what you meant by “logical argument for freedom is a contradiction in terms”. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand freedom in the abstract. To me, freedom is like taller or hotter without specifying taller or hotter than what. Freedom from what? Just having an abstract freedom, to me, doesn’t make sense.

Amidst a sea of hypocrisy and narcissism, I can say one good thing about Molyneux which is he admits when he’s wrong. I’ve seen him do it a couple times, so there’s hope. I went through a Molyneux phase, but he’s too black and white for me now. He has a list of good things and a list of evil things and although the contents of the lists may change over time, he always has the lists. Until that changes, I think he’ll always be tyrannical. Now that I think of it, I’m curious why JP didn’t tell him. Oh wait, he did tell him… that’s how I found out lol