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Do we need a "Playground" Forum?

2 posts in this topic


I am in a dilemma, and in my dilemma I have decided to post here. I trust I have chosen correctly. My dilemma is, do I post my response to Pachomius or not?

My dilemma has arisen, I think, because of my lack of participation in TGL, and only now have I found some of the discussions which exist in this, the Site Forum. It appears that the modus operandi of TGL has changed, with some posters referring to "the old TGL", and with my lack of participation (in both reading and posting) over the last six months I was not aware of this. Below is a post I put together yesterday intended for Pachomius, but now I find his thread on objective reality has been closed. I was a little surprised, but reading the relevant threads in this forum here now explains it, I think. I do agree with davidm that when he says, "I'll just add, for my money, the neg-rep function is destructive, unnecessary and wholly at odds with the original aims of this place. My 2 cents."

However, I would still like to make my post to Pachomius so I place it here.

A note to those long-standing members here as to why I have bothered to want to post at all in his thread? I may not be a regular poster here, but I normally read here a lot, and come here to get away from the acrimonious and nonsensical postings in so many other sites. I wholeheartedly support what soleo says in post 18 of the reality thread, but at the same time, if we want to avoid banning posters altogether, then I for one will always try, if I have the time and interest, to somehow engage any poster no matter how nonsensical or ignorant they appear to be. My main reason for posting anywhere on the Web is to attempt to express my own thoughts and feelings, and then if I receive any responses I find I gain a development in my own thinking. TGL has, I think, this approach underlying the reason for its existence. Any criticism on this post, or advice about my own approach to philosophy will, therefore, be kindly acknowledged. Many thanks in advance to anyone who bothers to read this!!

My final comment in my post to Pachomius refers to a Playground Forum! I came here originally to get away from the posters in the UK teachers' site, TES. They treated their Opinion Forum mostly as a playground, rather than attempting prolonged serious discussion (on general topics, not necessarily teaching). Recently they have improved their moderation considerably, but still leaving a lot to be desired, I think. I have to endorse those posters here who have criticised certain trends here in TGL which seem to me to be in the direction of playground exchanges in some threads!

I looked at Pachomias's reality thread because I was attracted by its title, I found no other way to choose whether or not to read it before it was closed. After reading the whole thread I felt I had really wasted my time (was I in TES rather than TGL I might have scathingly thought), but then decided to compose my own response. By the time I had written it the thread was closed! So here goes, but in the future I may have to exercise a little more discernment here before I choose to read a thread, as I do in TES!

OK, Pachomius, I am going to take up your challenge, my perception being, if I am correct, that your thread is a challenge.

I do this in the spirit of how I am prepared to participate in discussion with flat earthers, creationists, fundamentalists of all varieties (e.g. Christian and Muslim), even abusers, terrorists and murderers. Not that I am experienced in any of this, but I do think that if I was in company with any strange individual I would not feel uncomfortable, as long as our surroundings were conducive to rational discourse. I think TGL provides such surroundings, but in an appropriate forum, not this one (the Explore Forum).

I am not going to respond to all of your posts with references and arguments from the scholars of the ages. You are asking us to respond merely by talking (writing) off the top of our head, so to speak. I am going to pick on a particular phrase from your OP in this thread (now hidden, but kindly still available to those of us who might be interested) and for the time being, leave it at that.

The phrase I pick on is:

" .... to prove that something exists in objective reality outside our mind?"

I personally do not think this is possible, and the endless discussions on the existence of God spring to mind. However, my take on philosophy (and I am only a novice in this respect, but I do try to be rational at least) is that before any of us can make any progress whatsoever, we have to come to some agreement on the meanings of the words we are using. You have mentioned definitions, but that seems to me to be very limiting, as anyone who only uses a dictionary to gain some knowledge would know.

Therefore, philosophically, your whole phrase contains many words about which many treatises have been written.

What do we mean by "proof"?

What do we mean by "(a) something"?

What do we mean by "exists"?

What do we mean when we use the word "objective" as an adjective?

What is "reality"? (I know you attempted this one by saying it is something we detect with our five senses - and perhaps a sixth - but this may provide you with a starting point to your philosophical enterprise by studying the conversation between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson when the latter gentleman kicked his foot on a stone. They were discussing Berkeley's attempts to prove the non-existence of matter).

What do we mean when we say "outside" our mind?

What is "mind"!?

That's seven words, so when you have written your seven book treatise I might begin to think you have something of value to say. In the meantime, I will continue to talk with you on an amicable basis in an appropriate forum, but I think the fora here in TGL are not for fooling about like that. Perhaps TGL might provide us with a Playground Forum for both of us to engage!

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Thanks for your thoughts, MT.

I don't think we need a "playground" forum. What we have to bear in mind is that it's always possible for people to register here and try to cause trouble, which we can deal with appropriately. What turns topics into playground exchanges that potentially speak ill of TGL is not aggressive or clueless people but the responses they sometimes get. If members ignore troublemakers and/or use the reputation system, these people will be the ones who look bad and not TGL. I find it extremely regrettable that you are having to exercise discernment when choosing whether or not to read threads here and I hope this is a failing the community can put right.

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