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About the trolls

Published July 12th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

 

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There’s something of a troll problem in the comment discussions.    I think the BigGest offender has now finally been convinced to find another venue, but there will be more in the future who are bent on being disruptive.  

Short of moderating all comments before they’re published (meaning it may be hours before they become visible), the options are a bit limited in what we can do.  We have a few options but some trolls are persistent at getting around the obstacles.

One thing I wanted to make clear is that there is no opinion filter.  The whole spectrum of opinion is welcome here – and especially when commenters are representing a minority view (strongly religious, for example) I feel obligated to give them the benefit of the doubt.  What I am saying is, unpopular opinions are as welcome as popular opinions, but all comments must be somewhat civil. Commenters who are only disruptive will be asked to find a new venue. This last trouble-maker was ejected because he was trying to ruin the peace (and succeeding), not because he was religious.  Many people asking for his removal were in fact Christians who felt he was giving Christians a bad name with his ranting.

The question is what to do with the comments left behind.  It was argued that we should leave them in place to avoid any precedent of deleting comments.  This makes sense to me.

For those looking for a more structured discussion forum, the FSM Forums are available and run a much tighter ship.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions about the troll and for your patience.



200 Responses to “About the trolls”

  1. Apprentice Frederic says:

    Yes, thanks, Bobby! Your point re: all opinions / civility, different from censorship appreciated. Although memorializing the most recent troll and over-comparing him to the Angel of – er – Death specifically is probably a bad idea; nevertheless, maybe just considering today’s date as Pastover and reminding ourselves to be grateful and careful is in order…..

  2. puppygoogoo says:

    Thanks Bobby.

    Common sense (yes i use the term loosely) has prevailled. Hopefully people will now resume the discussions and general banter of the pre-B.G. times.

    cheers

    puppygoogoo

  3. Sister Spagnostic says:

    I think I showed up at just the right time. Though I am sorry to hear there are those who are willing to denounce their faith because of religious zealots from other faiths, I am happy to hear that free speech will be upheld as long as it doesn’t degrade into rampant abusive stupidity towards others.

    My father (who is an atheist) introduced me to Flying Spaghetti Monster a long time ago. I have always appreciated his humor and ability to make rational, educated, intelligent choices.

    I was raised by my mother (a born again Christian) in a very typical Christian church and attended services regularly (Sunday morning and evening and every Thursday night) until I was 21 years old. My mother was raised in the south, in a very ‘White’ Southern Baptist Church that I had the displeasure of attending once, during a visit to my grandparents home in the southern states. I went to Catholic school for two years, even though I was not Catholic, nor was anyone in my family. I was forced to go to mass, learn the prayers of the rosary as well as the Catholic Church Doctrine, and was forced to use my right hand to write with instead of my left hand, the hand I naturally favored as a child.

    Despite being forced to go to church by my mother, and only being allowed to socialize with those who were in the church, I made new friends after graduation, and joined a Wiccan Coven at the age of 18 without even knowing it. So I studied the Wicca religion as well as Shamanism and Buddhism during my late teens and early twenties, in an attempt to try and find the “truth”.

    What I learned was a truth, a simple truth, that all religions have the same basic theme, and several similar principles, and that they were ALL created by MAN. I have my beliefs firmly in place now, and now I know what I know, and think what I think, and believe what I believe.

    Putting my own opinions aside, I have always tried to respect the rights of others to choose their own set of beliefs, no matter what I might think of those beliefs. I DO however, expect them to adhere to those beliefs, and not just use them as proverbial clubs to beat others over the head with. I also expect, that if they attempt to discuss their beliefs with me in order to show me why they are justified and founded in having those beliefs, they be prepared to be proven wrong by the facts, and be prepared to accept the that what they might see as faith, others (myself included) might see as blind following caused by being brain washed by stories they choose to believe without concrete proof of the validity of those teachings.

    I’m sorry there are so many out there who are unable to accept that others have the right to think differently then they do, without being “saved” from following their own faith, beliefs, an opinions. I happily wait for the day when people consider religious freedom something everyone has the right to have as individuals, not as religious “groups”. I don’t see why anyone should have to feel the need to have a gospel to use to support their beliefs, when real universal truths like “Don’t kill people.” and “Don’t take stuff that isn’t yours.” and “Don’t be mean to others.” are almost always universally accepted as right, among most sane people.

    Ramen
    Amen
    Blessed Be
    wanishi
    Metta
    Assalaam-O-Alaikum

    • aristurtle says:

      In the beginning, man created God and saw that it was good. Perhaps religion is good for some but when it becomes a divisive force and becomes a method of mind control it needs to be rejected. IMHO, respect for diversity of thought is an important factor in maturity of belief.

  4. Jojo says:

    I respect your choices of making fun and having fun. But ultimately after death we are going to find the ultimate answers, we can not answer definitely here. If we did not get those answers then you were right. If we did then you are in a deep mess the size of a black hole. Life is very short. As part of job I treat people with heart failure. I know intimately that life is short. More over we lose the battle against death every day. There you go. Soon we all will find the answers one way or the other.

    • bruceo says:

      Why are you so sure that after death we will “find the ultimate answers”? What is so special about death that will make that happen? You only believe that because your loved ones have taught you that. And they are only sure of it because their loved ones taught them that.
      The thing that you will experience after your death will be the exact same thing that you experienced before your birth: Nothing.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      I love how after death there are only two choices in your eyes. Either we are right and there is nothing or you are right and a ‘deep mess the size of a black hole’ awaits (which I interpret as euphemistic sentencing of hell). Your argument is predicated on no one knowing with any certainty what comes after yet the ‘deep mess’ statement speaks to a certainty you admit to lack; contradiction.

      There is no way to know what, if anything, exists on the ‘other side’ but here is what I do know. Nearly every religion claims to know the answers & nearly every religion claims other religions answers are wrong. With that much uncertainly and conflicting ‘truth’ it is far better to be treat it all the same way; as baseless assertions. In the interim, between today and death, simply treat everyone with respect, be helpful, be good. Not because of some afterlife reward or to be spared damnation. Do it simply because it is the human thing to do.

      • midnight rider says:

        False dichotomy. Maybe I’ll go to heaven, maybe I’ll go to hell. Hey, maybe I’ll go to Radio Shack! Could it be that there are as many possible alternatives as there are people? Or maybe infinite possibilities.

    • Insightful Ape says:

      Bullshit. The way you find things is through your brain. Once you become wormfood, it rots. You can’t find anything with a decomposing brain than you can place a call with a dead phone.
      Nice touch of Pascal’s wager, though. Classic theist MO: terrorize with talk of death.
      Stay classy jojo.
      RAmen

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      You do know the answer? I am amazed! Scientists have not yet discovered if anything happens after death! So I am assuming you can provide proof of this, right? Let’s stop using Pascal’s Wager (again), and actually discuss the validity of religion and what purpose it serves in the world today.

      Religion is part of the reason we “lose the battle against death” because it refuses to come out of the dark ages and allow science to do what science does. Explore, hypothesis, and eventually cure. You are right. Life is short. Too short to live in hate by believing that you are right and the rest of the world will burn.

    • stylusmobilus says:

      As Kerry Packer once stated after having a heart attack and being clinically dead for a while…’Live it now, because I have been there and back and I can tell you there is nothing’.

    • tekHedd says:

      Or to put it another way: Hooray for Pascal’s Wager! Again! :>

  5. Main man says:

    Don’t worry i am not a troll just dropping by via BBC link :) i think you guys are a cult organisation. That’s is my opinion anyway. Goodbye

    PS: Don’t flame the messenger ok :)

    • Big Guy says:

      I can certainly understand how your arrived at that conclusion (since you did not read the about page). I will say there are clues there and in that BBC article to what we really are. Hint: the only dogma allowed the the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. Think about it.

      • TiltedHorizon says:

        For some reason my iPhone still had Big Guy logged in. Yes, I was one of them, I provided the religious jokes.

        • wulff says:

          Confession time – Eye wuz dis bugguy.

        • TiltedHorizon says:

          LOL.

          Lets open the Big Guy Group in Vegas, we could compete with the Blue Man Group. Our catch phrase could be:

          “You are all odiously salacious chiding noodleheads who watch too much sacrosanct sacrilegious porn produced and directed by the blasphemous jihadist man monkey. God loves you.”

        • wulff says:

          In the immortal words of Barney Gumble: “I like it!”

    • midnight rider says:

      Hey, he called us an organization! Woohoo! I didn’t really consider us all that organized, so thanks! Damn, I hope I don’t have to pay dues now. O.o

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      So you are delivering this message for someone else? You said “I think” and “that is my opinion”. Are you speaking for someone else? Because otherwise, you are not a messenger. You are an idiot who can’t read and thinks he speaks for more than himself out of some superiority complex.

  6. Arthur says:

    Are you kidding? I found your site quoted on a Yahoo news article…I laughed hysterically at the guy who got the drivers license (good for him!). But then on page one you talk about banning someone….how curious…atheists who promote free ideas banning someone…I figured you must have a good reason…he must have been a ranting, profane, hate filled bigot. So then I read his comments you archived, what in the world did you ban him for? Are your positions so weak, that you cannot withstand such mild comments? I found no harsh flames, no profanity, no threats. If you people here cannot even tolerate a mild (if, stupid) set of comments from someone, your forum is no place for me. This is nothing but intellectual weakness. You people here are intellectual noodles, spaghetti is a good term to fit your emotional capacity to endure mild opposition.

    And no, you don’t need to tell me to find a “different venue”, I will do it voluntarily.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      Obviously you did not read his comments in context, not that I can blame you, the archived aggregate left a lot to be desired. In a nutshell, he posted daily for three months, we tried endlessly to engage him in debate, he only wanted steer the conversion so it became about himself, not religion, not faith, just himself. How long would you talk to me if the only topic I would willingly is me? Something tells me it would be a lot less than three months.

      • tekHedd says:

        Ah well, you can’t please everybody.

    • Insightful Ape says:

      No harsh flames, profanity, or threats?
      Liar. He was full of all of those all the time.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      If you would like to have a discussion about the validity of your beliefs, then we would be more than happy to engage you in the manner that you first engage us.

      “Mild” comments? I didn’t realize threatening bodily harm was mild… We sure do have different definitions. Yes. Please do go find someplace else because you obviously have no idea what is going on here, and you obviously have no idea what “context” is.

    • stylusmobilus says:

      No one here is going to tell you to find a new venue, Arthur. On the contrary, I will say I’m sorry to see you won’t return, as although a few of us probably disagree with your observation you show courage of your conviction. You state how you feel about it clearly, and we encourage that around here.

      Not much profanity, I will admit, but the troll is certainly a bigot, and ranted often. As TH said, it became about himself. Rather than look at the archive as a stand alone example, I would ask you to take a look across all the articles and subjects. That should give you a much better idea of the context in which BG made his remarks. As Bobby points out above, unpopular opinions are as welcome as popular ones, and there is a requirement that comments be kept somewhat civil. Being disruptive as he was, several commenters requested that something be done about his trolling. That action was taken, it wasn’t taken lightly, and it was done at the request of several Pastafarians.

      After reading his posts within the comments, as opposed to just the archive you may be inclined to revisit your opinions on the intellectual weakness of the commenters here, because that is one statement you’ve made which is very inaccurate.

      • TiltedHorizon says:

        Agree completely. Arthur may have deemed us unworthy, due to his cursory evaluation, but at least he tried. That is more than I can honestly say about Biggy in his three months here. I’d love a chance to prove Arthur wrong.

    • Keith says:

      My guess is that Arthur won’t be reading any of these comments. He seems to be a “hit and run” poster.

    • Saved by FSM says:

      Who are you calling an Atheist?

  7. Insightful Ape says:

    Dear concern trolls,
    Thank you for the amusement. Here we are talking about the hate filled character who called all Muslims inbred and genetically defective, claimed that homosexuals had brought AIDS into existence, threatened us with fire and brimstone, demanded we give to an oraganization we disagree with, and called Thomas Jefferson a drunk and womanizer (on July 4th no less). He was banned for none of those-rather, for repeating the same crap over and over in every thread, turning this website into a garbage dump in the process.
    Since you have taken upon yourselves to be his defenders, I am curious to know what steps you have taken to protect the education of science and history from people like him. But I’m not holding my breath-if you miss him so much you are welcome to join him in ignominious obscurity.
    RAmen

  8. on24 says:

    Hey, just came across your website after seeing http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14135523 and had a look around and saw all this trouble with a certain BigGuy and got quite annoyed. I am christian (or would agnostic be better, whatever, I’m not a very committed christian anyway but do believe in a God and that is good enough for me) and I can’t believe what he was saying. I am assuming he is either a piss-taker or American. There aren’t many people like that who I have come across in the UK. Anyway, just wanted to say that we’re not all like that, that some of us are quite sane, and that religion doesn’t come from any fear or anything like that for me, but religious fanaticism does scare me and wish we could just get on with living.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      Oh he was definitely American. We, unfortunately, have to own that since almost half the population thinks the world is only 6,000 years old… Yeah for the American education system…

      • on24 says:

        See, I find that almost laughable, I went to a Roman Catholic primary, secondary and sixth form (had a religious mother) and we were introduced to evolution and natural selection from day one. It is crazy that you still teach creation – even I know a man with a big white beard didn’t get bored one day and decided to play with some clay.

        • Keith says:

          I find it strange that many of the dinosaur (and other prehistoric animal) books I read as a kid (I’m talking about the 1960′s) quite categorically stated that the Earth was thousands of millions of years old and that the dinosaurs lived millions of years before Man ever arrived. This was the 1960′s when you’d think that people would have been far more religiously conservative than today. I don’t have a single book in my collection that says “but, perhaps we are wrong and the bible is right”. What happened over there?

        • on24 says:

          Do creationists deny Dinosaurs then? See, I don’t actually know much about creationism has evolved (hmm, wrong word to use?) past the actual story in the bible and have never thought about it before – you would have to deny lots more than just dinosaurs, but how do you explain the big skeletons sat in the museum?

        • TiltedHorizon says:

          @on24 who sez:”Do creationists deny Dinosaurs then?”

          Depend on the creationist, there is a lack of consistency to their assertions. Generally speaking, they believe dinosaurs existed alongside man. There is a creationist museum in Kentucky depicting people riding dinosaurs. I recall an article from 2006 where a creationist scientist (oxymoron) found an actual dinosaur saddle which “proved” their claims. (google it) For some strange reason that claim never authenticated by secular scientists.

        • Omnipotent Zombie says:

          Is it more than a coincidence that the creationist/ID movement picked up alot of steam around the same time the previous president passed the No Child Left Behind Act?
          (For the non-americans reading: This tremendously flawed policy resulted with school disctricts changing their curriculum to flocus more on students passing nationally standardized tests, rather than teaching to reinforce critical thinking skills and preparing for college education and future careers.)

          Sorry for going political, but, its pertinent to what D&WC was saying.

        • B. says:

          I find it disturbing that this movement of anti-science is picking up such pace. It seems like we go backwards in time.

          I’ve always find it amazing, and disturbing yet again, that one can deny such giant areas of science, like archeology and geology, and then accept things like microwaves and even basic medication. Those things exist through science and empirical research. No creationists questions the integrity of science when their lifestyle or, more literally, their life, depend upon it.

        • Keith says:

          Here is an article about the creation “museum”.
          http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/06/ars-takes-a-field-trip-the-creation-museum.ars
          Apparently Ken Ham, the idiot who founded this comedy sideshow (rather appropriate name, that) is an Australian. Just goes to show that America is not the only country for A1 nut jobs.

        • stylusmobilus says:

          Thought I’d seen that name before Keith.

        • Keith says:

          #B. says:
          I used to work with a fellow who was a born again christian. He had a crippling heart complaint. His beliefs forbade him to seek medication. Instead he took to praying all of the time. The result was that he died. I don’t know if he was a creationist but he belonged to the so called “Assemblies of god”. The upshot is that I suspect that some creationists also do not trust modern medicines either.

        • on24 says:

          @TiltedHorizon – I was just thinking out loud, trying to balance in my mind creationist v evolution. I don’t know why but I got transfixed on dinosaurs. I don’t know much about creationism beyond the basic idea of it. And was interested to see the varying methods that people have done to make it appear more scientific or make it fit in to the history of the world and I have come to a personal conclusion:

          It started out funny, then made my head hurt, I no longer care. If they want to go to the lengths of ‘finding’ dinosaur saddle, then so be it.

        • TiltedHorizon says:

          @on24

          I know you say you don’t really care but since someone else may have the same questions I’ll answer.

          Creationists are trying to legitimize their views by repackaging them, basically creationism is ‘out’, Intelligent Design is ‘in’. The ID ‘theory’. according to them, is not central to any faith or god therefore not an endorsement of one religion. Their core argument is that biology contains evidence of designs too complicated to be explained by natural selection, hence it hints at a creator. They have a few scientists on their side, something like .014% of the global scientific community , which is obviously a minority but it seems that is all the justification they need.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          The state I live in is awful in education. The country as a whole is brainwashed. And I have to teach the brainwashed people’s kids (who, by the time I get them in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL are already brainwashed). I would laugh if I wasn’t drowning in idiocy…

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      Welcome On24. Please help yourself to a brew of choice. Rational Christians are sadly underrepresented here, I hope you stick around.

      • on24 says:

        Oh I will, one of my favourite past times during uni was debating religion with my atheist mate over a pint. It really annoyed him that I agreed with him on almost every point but he could never get me to say that there is no God, Allah, Higher Being or whatever, I just think/believe there is!

        Thank you for the welcome.

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