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The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
Rein
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Post: #1
The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
So, let's talk! Lately there seems to be a significant rift in the community here regarding when, why, and how one should go about "grilling" or questioning an individual about their claims, and whether or not certain degrees of mockery are acceptable. One side claims that an individual claiming something big should be well prepared for disbelief and questioning, and is therefore fair game. The other side believes that while questioning may be one thing, condescending tones or bulling/mockery are strictly off limits.

I encourage everyone to post their views on this. I strongly encourage debate.

My personal views on this matter are as follows:

1) Questioning is a must. I think that, in order to accurately reach on understanding as a community, things must be questioned. That isn't to say that we should be extremely critical of everyone we meet, just that we should encourage questioning as a tool for aiding spiritual growth.

2) I agree that anyone throwing out big claims should be prepared for the inevitable disbelief and grilling. It's only common sense that anything remotely fantastic in nature is going to be met with suspicion, especially when it comes to controversial topics such as the Veil, wars occurring, or entities that are well-known and/or very powerful. And while everyone has the right to not answer questions presented to them, I think that at least they should at least pay attention to the responses given to their statements.

3) Somewhat controversially, I support a degree of mockery. That isn't to say that we should openly ridicule those people we find unbelievable or "fluffy", but I believe in presenting some degree of a challenge to such people. By openly challenging an individual, one encourages them to elaborate on their claims and actively participate in discussion of it. However, I do understand that such mockery must be closely watched, and that their is a line between subtle challenging and ridicule.

4) On a semi-off topic note, I am STRONGLY against holding debates on this topic inside of the controversial threads themselves, hence the creation of this one. I encourage members to please refrain from carrying out debates on this topic in other threads, for it not only leads to a state of confusion but also may drive away the thread's creator, who does not want to become involved in our squabbles.

Other opinions, please?
2008-04-15 0:44
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Seraphyna
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Post: #2
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
I agree with most of what you've posted, Kayako. I think that if the posted material in question is ridiculous enough, it will inevitably be mocked and ridiculed to a degree. I also think that, yes, people should definitely be encouraged to clear things up and/or support their claims with evidence. I think challenging these kinds of posts can't be a subtle thing 9 times out of 10, but that open attacks on people saying they're "nuts" or some other kinds of blatantly offensive statements should definitely be avoided. There's a line between critical considerations, challenges, and questions and personal attacks. Often, replies tread this line closely, but it's a line that maintains some semblance of order and decency on internet forums.

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2008-04-15 1:01
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Ashaiel
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Post: #3
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
You said my own thoughts on the subject. I don't know what else I could add at this time.

~ Ashaiel

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2008-04-15 5:32
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Taiaka
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Post: #4
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
My opinion? I think this topic is bull. There's no protocol to reaction. Follow the rules.

"Will minus intellect constitutes vulgarity." -Arthur Schopenhauer


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2008-04-15 14:16
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Terro
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Post: #5
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
I'll agree with Taiaka that there is no protocol to reaction, but there are definitely rules that cannot and should not be broken, the most direct are the forum rules.

On the stake of tall claims, my view, and it has always been my view, that questioning of things is bringing a logical standpoint against a statement that seems to be false because of it. Words are very powerful things, if used correctly they are great, if people are irresponsible with them, they then have no realization of what they are saying along with the small intended claim they make.

Grilling is fine so long as there are no major personal attacks, saying a person is a fluff when you've seen them post something that is largely considered fluffy multiple times on multiple boards and each time having no explanation to it or even ability to discuss the idea, is not personal attacks, concluding that they are psychotic or completely off their rocker or flat out insults... well that is different.

Mockery seems to be mis-termed here. I think the ideal term is satire in this case. Satire is when someone says one thing, and the other says that same thing back in a different way so as to emphasize its logical fallacy or questionable integrity. Usually it is done with a tone of condescension, that's how satire works. There is nothing wrong with satire, because satire cannot work unless there is something in the source statement that can be emphasized in a negative light without completely altering what is said.

One of the main issues that I see however, is the mis-understanding of "you don't have to answer if you don't want to." This does not mean that an individual can make a ridiculous claim, and then say "I don't want to talk about it" or something similar. It means that if you are discussing something and someone is asking a very hard line of questions, "I'm not sure," or "I really can't answer that question at this time" is perfectly acceptable. The other part of the deal is that if you cannot answer it, you try to understand the angle. We're all here to learn and to share information, what good is that if you don't want others to share their insights on your information? It all comes down to pride, I think. I said in the "Hot Seat" thread, it doesn't really help to grill people that aren't adamant in things that are wrong, you can point out fallacies, but to a person that says "yeah, I am exploring those options," you're not really able to "grill" them.

There is also a balance between fluff and logic. Forums go back and forth between these two extremes. When a forum has a lot of fluff, the more logical members become more aggressive in striking it down to restore that balance, and the fluffy members continually post more logical fallacies in order to try and prove their fluff isn't actually fluff. It all ends in tears and a few people who don't understand this balance getting upset and in many cases leaving. When everyone has a grip on reality and is open to questioning and being questioned. Everyone is happy and fine with it and the forum endures.

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.
-The Unit
2008-04-15 15:08
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flarablaze
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Post: #6
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
I agree with Terro to a degree but I think I actually oppose you all to some extent. I have to say, I have a very hard time explaining some things that have happened/things I've remembered. Now, I also am of the personal belief that nothing can be "PROVEN" to another person, especially online. Anything that goes on in your head is not measurable, you can't film your memories. Ahh, if only you could.

Now, I'm not saying people shouldn't be questioned. But I've been questioned to the point of feeling cornered and not knowing how to respond because I've been, to my vision, attacked at all angles. Some of what I've said in the past was fluffy because AS IT HAPPENED I didn't know the full story and was filling in the gaps. I don't do that anymore. I thought I did know the full story, and once I started questioning it ON MY OWN, I got the answers filled in. People questioning and grilling and poking and prodding at you for answers is not always a good thing. To some degree it can be, when it's extraordinary claims, like something about how omg we're all gonna move to mars on 12/20/2012 or whatever that dates even supposed to be.

Or saying you are the daughter/son of Dracula. Etc. That you've lived a thousand years IN THIS LIFE TIME. Those are beyond extraordinary, and those people should be grilled. Some people shouldn't. Now, note. I'm a writer. I've loved to read and have hidden myself in books for about 15 years. (Yes, I read at that early of an age.) Even with all that, I'm still imbalanced because I'm not used to the social aspects of life. And although I have a fairly good vocabulary, I also was lazy in high school so I forgot half of it because I wasn't paying attention. And in these cases. I also have horrendous memory of this lifetime. It's starting to come back, but yeah.

Why do I bring all these things up? Because it's been noted by people that when I get questioned, if the phrasing is not allegedly "perfect" i.e. if the person is not TRYING to sound as though they aren't attacking me, I feel like everyone thinks I'm full of it so what's the point in trying to explain everything to people who won't listen.

And trust me, most people would rather keep believing that the person who has a hard time communicating their thoughts is full of fluff. Some are. But some aren't. Being unable to express the answers to questions, or if they ask questions you don't know the answers too, and they leap on THAT.... yeah. It's a neverending cycle and the person ends up giving up talking to people.

Yes, it's a good thing to question some people. But there's a point where it is no longer a questioning process but grilling because you simply don't believe them.

I personally have pretty much given up hope of even trying to explain what I am in forums because the more "logically minded" tend to nitpick everything I say. I'll be honest. I'm not a logical person. If people talk for too long about science I get bored and fidgety. And no, it doesn't even have to do with 'kin. I figure things out, but in my own way. Asking me scientific questions about myself is just.. well, downright stupid.

There are some things that I'm sure of that I'll never be able to prove.

But then again- If you want to get extremely logical we could all be a little loose in the head and clinging to something. You never know. I just personally don't believe that to be the case.


But as I've said... There's a point where the grillee feels extremely uncomfortable because they can't answer questions and then the tone starts to change. I've noticed this from a) being that person, and b) watching it. Once the person starts being unable to explain some things, people creep out from lurking to start nitpicking on their own. Nitpicking can be a good thing....... but to a degree. And mockery as well can be good to a degree. But condescension? I personally think there's never a good time for that.
2008-04-15 15:56
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Terro
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Post: #7
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
in which case(s), an individual reserves the right to say "whoops, my bad" or "My mistake in explaining, let me clarify." People seem to forget that they can say that. Again, my introduction to internet forums taught me to watch my words, rather than crawl away I learned that it's the internet, sometimes what you're typing doesn't come out the way you had hoped, stick by your words but adapt if your ideas are not accurately portrayed.

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.
-The Unit
2008-04-15 19:23
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lemur
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Post: #8
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
I'm jumping in and once again I have missed out on all the drama, so please forgive me if I'm terribly out of context.

I think questioning is definitely healthy. It makes you think, and possibly make you look at things in ways you haven't looked before. It's a bit like planning a party with friends, everybody suggests new thing and invites new people in -- and you might look at it in a positive light, and try to make the best out of it even if they bring their little brother who always hits on you inappropriately. Or you might throw a huge temper tantrum and just padlock the door, which will probably result in you NOT having a good time and just remaining in your security zone.

As for mockery, I'm not fond of it AT ALL. Not speaking personally, just that I'm not too fond of mocking people as that will probably only make them feel bad and more shy about speaking up.

*throws two cents into the thread*
2008-04-15 20:03
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flarablaze
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Post: #9
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
Terro Wrote:in which case(s), an individual reserves the right to say "whoops, my bad" or "My mistake in explaining, let me clarify." People seem to forget that they can say that. Again, my introduction to internet forums taught me to watch my words, rather than crawl away I learned that it's the internet, sometimes what you're typing doesn't come out the way you had hoped, stick by your words but adapt if your ideas are not accurately portrayed.

Meh, the reason I left the myspace Otherkin forum was because I got sick of drama and there was too much negative energy there. I'm leaving a lot of groups on myspace among other things. And sure, you can do that. But there isn't always words for a sensation, or you don't know how to accurately phrase things. But thanks to Simim's help I think I have a better way of doing things now.
2008-04-15 20:13
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Terro
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Post: #10
Re: The Whens, Whys and Hows of Grilling/Mockery
myspace is a league of it's own, more like a league for people with way too much fluff, too soft a chin and way too little logic, except for those who do ask the questions, who struggle very hard and are taken very offensively when trying to make sense of the fluff.

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.
-The Unit
2008-04-15 20:48
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