# If you could change one thing about sciforums...

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by James R, Sep 26, 2011.

1. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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Given the anonymity of this forum, theists can engage in hit-and-run evangelizing. They often ridicule non-theists, to the point of psychological manipulation.
I want this to stop.

3. ### GustavBannedBanned

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12,575
so sweet!

/way enamored

5. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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which is already against the rules.
you mean atheists.
how can someone be a scientist and categorically state "there is no god"?

7. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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By "non-theists" I mean atheists and agnostics of all varieties.

I agree with your point as far as strong atheists and strong agnostics are concerned, but not the other kinds of atheists and agnostics.

They are getting away with them.

8. ### keith1Guest

The science forum servers in the U.S. are just as good as the ones in England or Canada.
What makes one popular is:
• it's ability to be found by metro and suburban traffic.
• it's ability to garner and have return visits by intellectual traffic.
• it's ability to give prizes away to it's traffic:
• uses ad money procured to spur more traffic.
• example: Canadian server could give Canadian product samples to certain prize-winning candidates:

• genuine Pemmican from the Metis Nation.
• Royal Mounties official pocket knife.
• Forum tees, science toys/tools, other forum-advertising objects:
• Further increased advertising, income and traffic.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2011
9. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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atheists are pretty well black and white on the subject.
agnostics are either neutral or of the opinion the concept is unprovable.
there is not much you can do about the "hit and run" type.
for the other types you are going to need some sort of definition of "god".
maybe it's the "religion" part you are concerned with.
i agree that "religion" doesn't have a place in scientific discussions but you cannot say "god" doesn't have a place.
be it known that i have absolutely no clue what this "god" is, was, or going to be.

10. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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I must have missed where this phenomenon is somehow tightly confined to 'theists.'

If I could change one thing about SciForums, it would be improved and expanded $\LaTeX$ interface. We should have a many of commonly-used $\LaTeX$ tags, just as we have the usual bold, italics, underline, etc. At the very minimum, there should be a button to wrap text in "tex" tags!

Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
11. ### kiraValued Senior Member

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• If I could change one thing here, I would abolish the permanent ban system and make it maximum one year instead, with some exceptions (permanent ban should only be applied to spammers, members who commit vandalism, members who advocate or commit legal crimes e.g. pedofile, and so on). Members who are simply annoying, rude, having non-popular views, trolls, having hobbies to insult people, too smart, too stupid, gay haters, theist haters, atheist haters, racists, moderators haters, people who hate everything, etc etc should be allowed to stay so long they follow forum rules. If they break forum rules, just ban them from a few days to one year. If after one year they break another forum rule which warrants a one year ban, just ban them for another one year etc. To ban someone for a year just takes a few seconds and then mods can have a one year break from that someone when necessary

. My point is, I would like to ask the permanent ban thing to be removed.
• This list of moderator names is sorted based on moderators names. For practicality, is it possible to sort it based on Forums names (or both)?

Thanks...!

12. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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I like the idea of a "rating" or "favorite" system wherein members can rate posts up or down, or otherwise indicate their concurrence in an easy way, without needing to litter the thread with "ditto" posts (or remain silent). It would give posters some good feedback as to how the audience is responding to their posts.

13. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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i have seen this type of rating system abused on other forums to where it was eventually discontinued.
it was the poster that got the rating, not the post itself.
they were able to exploit the URL.
by typing in a URL people were able to "up" the rating of a poster as many times as they wanted to.

trust me, you put ANYTHING into the hands of the masses, it WILL be abused.

14. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Brief Note

A Brief Note for Signal

I've just been through the threads on the front page of the Religion subforum. In truth, if it was really about people being taken seriously, not a single one of those threads would remain open. I would, if it was my direct jurisdiction, close them all and tell people to try again, only this time come up with something worthwhile.

Point being, if atheists want to be taken seriously, there are standards I can hold them to, also. For instance, "If you're supposed to be the smart one in the room, stop being a useless moron."

You might recall when we last considered treating religion as an academic discipline; earlier this year, I suggested combining Religion and Comparative Religion into Theology. People made clear that this was a bad idea; they don't want religious subfora to be taken seriously. That would take all the fun out of evangelizing and insulting.

Or, as we have frequently reminded: Sciforums is what its members make it.

15. ### VardaThe Bug LadyValued Senior Member

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What kira suggested was not a user rating system, like many forum platforms support.
She suggested something like a "like" button for the posts.

Reputation encourages appeal to authority. Like button considers the value of each post individually.

16. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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being old and gray says nothing about my wisdom.
getting rid of ad homs will go a long way to encouraging discussion.

17. ### kiraValued Senior Member

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Actually what I meant initially was something more like "this comment has been flagged as spam" (or as trolling, etc). The comment is hidden, but next to it there is an option to show the comment, like one of those in youtube.

Let say we have a serious thread in the hard science section, and then a poster comes to troll the thread. We just click the report button to notify the mod, the mod will review the post, and when the mod sees the abuse, the mod can simply hide the post (with an option for everyone to view the post). This way, serious threads wouldn't get hijacked. We can still have the infraction system, and if it exceeds the limit, the mod can just ban the poster temporarily. This way, people are still free to be themselves, too.

18. ### quadraphonicsBloodthirsty BarbarianValued Senior Member

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It takes some careful thought to do correctly, to be sure. I'd suggest that ratings should be applied to individual posts, and not directly to posters (although it would be cool to be able to look at the rating aggregate rating statistics of a given poster as well).

One approach I've seen to be successful elsewhere is a "favorite" system. I.e., each poster is allotted, say, 10 "favorite" points to use each week, and can apply them to posts that they like. Provided you prevent sock-puppets or other shenanigans, this seems to be a stable, workable system. A "rating" system is a bit different in that it allows posters to rate as many posts as they like, and so allows energetic posters to be over-represented in the ratings, etc.

19. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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if you don't like how or what a particular poster posts then put them on your ignore list.
you usually will not miss a thing.

20. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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The playing field is not even.
Theists and atheists are not equals.
Theists are the ones directly or indirectly claiming to be better than others.
So let's hold the theists to higher standards then.

21. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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in my opinion they aren't.
the outright rejection of a concept without adequate reason to do so implies, arrogance, bias, and lack of objectivity.

personally i cannot accept nor reject the concept of a "religious and holy" god simply because i do not have any solid evidence to do so.
in order to be judged fairly the playing field MUST be level.

science is neutral on the concept of god, and probably for good reason.
leave the discussion to philosophers until you have the evidence to present to science, how's that?

22. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Hmm, and the outright acceptance of a concept without adequate reason doesn't? And it's ALSO a justifiable excuse to proselyte, condemn and vilify?

Plus, of course, you're lumping ALL atheists into the hard atheism corner. Not smart.

23. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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it implies exactly the same thing.
there is no reason for anyone to outright accept the notion of god.
no, it's no excuse.
"hard" atheism? what's that?
atheism is black and white, all others is either believers or agnostics.
atheists and believers are the ones with the problem.