Thread: To bite or not to bite? Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
It's the principal of the thing I want to talk about, please note, otherwise this will soon be despatched to the glue factory:

A relative follows the humanist trail, and so their lines come up on my Facebook page from time to time. This week they sent out the Archbishop of Canterbury's message of concern about assisted suicide with their own message about how many Christian groups think that suffering is good and therefore want to stop others from ending their lives. That of course was not what he had said. It was an anti-religion soundbite.

I want to bite, to add my comment, but at the same time I don't want to give them any publicity at all, particularly due to what I see as their duplicity. They are not honestly challenging what was said. But should I add my challenge? Might some who follow them be easily swept up in soundbites so that they don't think for themselves, so that they need to hear from the other side?

It occurred to me that some humanists who come here to post might be doing so for that reason too, as if Christians don't think for ourselves.
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
What about us humanist Christians?
Posted by SvitlanaV2 (# 16967) on :
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:

A relative follows the humanist trail, and so their lines come up on my Facebook page from time to time. This week they sent out the Archbishop of Canterbury's message of concern about assisted suicide with their own message about how many Christian groups think that suffering is good and therefore want to stop others from ending their lives. That of course was not what he had said. It was an anti-religion soundbite.

I've got a couple of young relatives on Facebook who sometimes post critical stuff about Christians. I don't normally respond, although I've thought about it.

Many of my other relatives on FB are Christians, but there's no guarantee that (in a public conversation) what I might say would fit in neatly with their beliefs either, so I could end up causing ripples on both sides, as it were. Moreover, as the older, more serious party (and as the only female) in the conversation I feel that my words would be more closely scrutinised and judged than those of either of these two other people.

I also wonder why none of the other Christian family members ever chip in when these conversations pop up. They too would rather not argue about religion in public, I imagine.

On reflection, I think posting one's own good news story/message rather than responding to someone else's negativity would be the best thing to do. The former would encourage those who agree to post positive comments or 'likes', whereas the latter might descend into an uninspiring exchange between two people who are never going to see eye to eye.

[ 10. September 2015, 23:10: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
I'm increasingly falling back on a more or less Jewish position where, rather than engaging in arguments in which, even if I were the most wonderful rhetorician in the universe, I would never persuade anyone, I instead just try in my own time world to strike sparks of Christlike light.

So I no longer bite.
Posted by Mere Nick (# 11827) on :
I've bitten a couple of times and it seems to go against what facebook is normally about when I consider what is normally posted by family and friends so I stopped. I did block the shared items from an otherwise good friend because all he seems to do is share so much political stuff it was blocking the scenery.

Whoever first came up with the "like and share if you . . ." should be given a two tube's worth latex caulk enema.
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
When I come across something like that I try to weigh it. For example, some of my Facebook friends are known lunatics. Lovable, yeah, but loony. So if they post something OTT, I just let it go, because anybody who knows them will take it with a whole shaker of salt.

If on the other hand it's a person with lots of gravitas who rarely puts a foot wrong but really muffed it in public this time, I might post a quiet, respectful challenge to it. Along the lines of "That's funny, Mary. I could almost swear I heard the opposite from Dr. So-and-so at Harvard last year. Would you let me know your source, so I can see if there's been a mistake?"
... which usually doesn't ruffle any feathers and often leads to a thank you and a retraction.

Then there are the folks who just go on FB to be combative and propagandist. I usually think for a moment about who's likely to read this, and whether they're likely to be negatively impacted at all. If the answer is "innocents" and "massive damage," I'll say something. But usually the answer is "other people just like the poster," and "no perceptible change"--in which case I let it go.

As some wise Shipmate once said, "Life is too short to berate every passing asshole."
Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
A couple of occasions a friend on FB has posted something I not only disagree with, but know it's based on very faulty logic. The most recent was stuff about Planned Parenthood. But, I don't use FB to discuss things like that (that's what the Ship is great at). If we'd been having a talk in real life, over lunch or after a prayer meeting for instance, and that subject came up I would discuss it. So, for me, it would almost always be a "don't bite", but that may be different foe people who use FB for different reasons (for me, it's almost exclusively to keep in touch with people I know in real life, to share what we're doing - especially for those people I don't have other ways of keeping in touch).
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
Mostly I don't bite. It's not worth it.

But there are quite a few anti-immigrant memes around at the moment. I suspect people simply 'click and share' without thinking them through. Then I bite with a one liner but leave the conversation alone after that.

I just hope my one-liner gives them pause for thought. I have been using sabine's line from here on the Ship "I want all who are under the threat of war, conflict, ethnic cleansing, rape, forced military service of children, bombing of homes and cities, etc. to have a safe place to go." because it says it all and is hard to argue with.

So my answer is - it depends on the subject, but mostly not.
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
As ever, some very pertinent and thought-provoking responses, thank you.

Martin, should I bite? [Biased]
Posted by BroJames (# 9636) on :
On FB I generally don't bite - for all the reasons others have given.

Very occasionally I might PM someone if I think they may have said/liked something which had implications they might not have realised e.g. someone who had liked, in all innocence, a Britain First post, or where someone has fallen for a scam, or where they have done something potentially unwise - sharing an email or phone no., or posting a comment which puts them at risk if it reaches the wrong person.
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
VERY good, Raptor Eye. You have your answer.
Posted by Tortuf (# 3784) on :
My experience is that giving advice to, or arguing with, people who do not seek your input rarely changes their mind about anything. More often I have seen whoever it is harden in their position.

So, as a general matter now, I share my experience and try not to argue. If someone likes what my experience and thoughts bring to the occasion great. (Hopefully great anyway.) If they do no, great. I have done what I can do and the outcome is not up to me and never has been up to me.

As to Faceb**k in particular, I skip over posts as soon as I see it is some facile pushing of a political or religious agenda. Why? Ego, I suppose. I like to imagine that my views are formed by learning the facts, my life experience and my - pauce - wisdom.

So, my reaction to someone trying to persuade me with a few words blip on a picture is that they must either not be thinking much about what they are doing, or they think I can persuaded by a slogan and a picture.

Additionally, I have seen several people who are labeled as "commenting" on some meme that I know would make their blood boil and when I click on the meme, their comment appears nowhere at all. I am told the person posting the meme can take out their comment. This leads to the unhappy circumstance that your attempt at a negative comment will appear to some as your endorsement of whatever horse manure the meme is supporting.

Sometimes, oftentimes, the most valuable words I use are the ones I keep to myself.

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