I’ve learned a lot from internet forums. Here’s how to recognize the least nice parts of global and instant communications:
An internet troll is a person who posts on forums to cause trouble or upset other posters.
Hallmarks of a troll are that they tend not to respond to posts and repeat their claims and insults all while accusing others of the same behaviour.
Trolls thrive on attention and will wander away if no one feeds them.
This is the sign of an advanced troll. This is when a troll joins a forum under several names, all of whom agree with each other and believe the same thing.
They never seem to notice that their ISP shows them as being in the same location, for they are not smart enough to realize that other people are not as dumb as they are.
These are a speciality type of troll and are prone to creating sockpuppets.
They tend to post about their religion in atheist or scientific forums. They are not interested in talking to other beleivers, unless it a beleiver of another religion.
They are seeking to convert, even though they deny that. They can be fun to bait, but the best strategy is to ignore the content of their repetitive posts and focus on the broader issues of the form of a logical argument and attendant fallacies, systems of morality rather than morals themselves, and their agenda.
Apparently, there’s a religious college that gives course credit for being a godbot.
The downside of godbots is how tiresome it gets to have to explain over and over to the same godbot, it’s sock puppets and subsequent godbot/sockpuppet combos:
– that what a word means is context sensitive ( I beleive in a diety is different than I beleive my car will start or the sun will rise tomorrow – the first is faith and the second is expectation based on observation and experience)
– super basic scientific concepts, like what a theory is in science vs common terms.
– that adapting and changing to new information is the strength of science, not a flaw – but that religion is glacial with change is a fault
– word games where you change meaning of the key words are not logic, clever or a sign of intelligence
– the buybull is not proof of anything but man’s ability to invent fictional stories to make themselves feel better
– that there’s nothing moral in the buybull that isn’t obvious all on it’s own – and much that is claimed to be moral and clearly isn’t by today’s standards
– that cultural standards change over time and are culturally dependent. That cultures have previously been mostly defined geographically, which is why there’s so many different religions in different areas and at different times. Religion is a cultural expression of the values/morals, not what creates or defines them.
and, why are they always so fixated on:
– gay people in general and gay anal sex in particular
– not having “things” rammed down their throats (all while trying to ram their religion into our orifices)
– quoting scripture and creationists, as if we’ve never heard it and would find it compelling, but without any indication that they understand the substance of their cut and pasting.
– claiming that anyone who proves that being religious does not make one a moral person, its not a “true” or “real” whatever the faith is.
I can only think that the reason for this behavior is that global and instant communication is somehow threatening to these small minded people.
They are overwhelmed by exposure to the world at large and have to stay in their dark corner and flail at the world, fingers firmly in ears while shouting their platitudes, the underlying meaning of which is “I’m important”
Well, there’s no Santa and in the grand scheme of things, no one is important.
But, there is comfort in this:
In your life, you are important, to yourself, your family and friends. To a lesser degree to your boss and coworker, even less to politicians and authority figures.
The farther away from yourself the less important you become to other people, unless you do something that makes people farther away from your circle care about you.
But none of that even matters, what matters is that you give your life meaning and make the most of the life you have.
Do you trolls, sock puppets and godbots really want to look back on a life spent small and demanding to be heard by crude and rude tactics?
Would whatever your god is truly be impressed and proud?
Well, maybe they diety would, after all the majority of deities are preening egomaniacs who act out violently.
But I think we can set the bar to a higher standard than that.
Try to create something positive to leave in the world.