Thursday, March 3, 2011

Internet Trolls - Day 44

Hahaha, I laugh just thinking of them. I know they're out there. They look like anything from a young adolescent boy up to some homeschool mom. Of course they both use different forms of communication. The teenage boy does it by writing foolish words and you see them all over youtube videos. All the way up to the homeschool mom who uses her blog to hate on/gossip about other people. There honestly isn't much difference between them.

With power comes responsibility. And many people are just not responsible with their words. Either in life or in the internet. I can see the temptation on the internet especially. #1: You have power when you post on the internet. You could have millions of people read your stuff. People like to feel power, and when they post hateful things about specific people they like it. #2 You want people to read your stuff. And people like to read stuff about people and relationships. That's one reason I feel we are such a celebrity age. We don't want real relationships, so we create these celebrities. Every circle has some sort of celebrity. Someone that some elevate and others trash. If you post about specific celebrities you're going to get a certain response. #3: Even if you have some form of showing what your real name is, you have anonymity. No one is going to search you down and actually discuss with you what you posted about them. Besides maybe commenting.. #4: It's much easier to hate on someone you don't know. You can listen to what others say, you can hear what someone says, but unless you actually see their works and their life over a period of time you aren't going to understand where people are going.

Now, this doesn't mean you can't attack someone's idea. But I believe it's important that you keep that person who made the statement in anonymity. Attack the idea, not the person. Often, when you mention someone's name you've attacked the person and are no longer attacking the idea.

Are you loving God and loving others when you post what you post?

Picture of the day:


Amy said...

Hey Daniel, I just wanted to say that it's almost worse when you won't come right out and name the person you're accusing of "hate/gossip."
(I'm sure I can guess which homeschooling mother's blog you're referring to.)
When a person writes about ideas and people they disagree with, it doesn't automatically make them hateful or bitter. I really dislike when people use those adjectives to try and discredit the other party. i.e. "Oh, they think we're teaching harmful things? (They might be right.. Uhm...) Well, that's just BITTER.
Bitter, bitter, BITTER. And hateful. And, uh, slothful! And arrogant, while we're at it. Ignore them."
Attempting to squash any dissent by slapping labels across others is not right.
For example, what's the first thing a government does when they're becoming a dictatorship? Silence the people. They might accuse them of being discontent, ungrateful, or disloyal.
And where in the Bible does it say that we must know someone fully before we say something "negative" about them? (I put negative in quotes, because what does it matter if it's negative if it's the *truth*?) Do I have to personally know Obama to say that I think his ideas are all wrong and that I think he should not be the President of the United States? No. That's a ridiculous assertion.

Amy said...

Another thing, the fear of the Lord is to h-a-t-e evil. We're supposed to be battling any ideas that are not in accordance with the Gospel. I would submit to you that we should be sure that we are loving GOD in our writing.
God is the King of the Universe, and His children do not have to tip-toe around timidly. How would that have played out if the apostles, and Jesus Himself, wanted to be sure they were "loving" the Pharisees and so never called them out?
It is not unloving to rebuke or refute a person.
This is a bit off subject but I also wanted to mention that sometimes, it is necessary to name names. If you'll notice, most bloggers and such in the Christian realm generally do avoid names. But sometimes specific teachings and/or actions will be called into question. And you know, that keeps people accountable. People can't just march around, espousing whatever ideas they want and expect that everyone just take it and keep their mouths shut when something's not right, you know? They *should* be called out.
And as always, when I write these things, I'm not meaning to be confronational or rude. Haha like, I'd be saying these exact same things to you in person, but it looks different on paper... er, the screen, than it sounds coming out of my mouth.

Daniel said...

Good points Amy.

(There’s about 8 bloggers that I’ve read recently that I was referring to, including a couple males. (I read too many blogs…) I was just trying to offend people by using homeschool moms as the example. :-D ) Lol, what?!

Anyways, I guess I was referring to the way several of these people were writing. When I was reading their blogs, they were being kind of objective but at the same time emotional about the whole thing. Which is what you want in writing, someone to connect emotionally, not necessarily rationally. It’s a more powerful approach.

Okay here’s where I’m coming from. I tend to tell people stuff as I see it. I’m willing to change, but I state my opinion. Just like my writing tends to be straight to the point, that’s how I am. Sooo, I hate it when people talk behind someone’s back. I know everyone does it, but it drives me crazy. That’s where I’m coming from. ☺

Hey, I love slapping labels. YAY!! Lol, I’m black and white so I tend to slap labels on things. (Btw: good point, I do need to be careful of that.)

True, we don’t need to know someone fully. Of course we all make judgments in our mind about someone the second we meet them or hear them talk. But I truly think we need grace. God does have a lot of grace with us. These bloggers that I read really didn’t have any grace for the people they were talking about. And these were anything from homeschool leaders to political leaders. And it annoys me that they were so proud as to make themselves as God. Kind of making the judgment against somebody with what sounded like hateful speech. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be hateful but the way they wrote it, it felt that way.

And maybe I tend to be a little too gracious towards people in my life and on the internet. But if God’s gracious enough to me to allow me to live on this earth I feel I should be gracious as well. I don’t want to be that person who was forgiven for millions of dollars and then take it up with someone for fifty bucks. I may not be loving people because I’m being too gracious though, I can see that..

Great point about loving God in our writing, and part of loving God is keeping his commandments. Also, one of the commandments is loving your neighbor as yourself. But yeah, definitely agree with you on that point.

I definitely agree with you that we need to rebuke and refute people. But I’ve tried this a lot. I’ve made probably a little over 1000 posts online debating people and telling them they’re wrong. But rarely do people listen. Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” And what I came to realize is that to rebuke someone you have to love them. No one listens or cares what trolls say because they don’t love the person they’re rebuking. And when you love someone, the way you say it changes. You can still be tough and rebuke, but the way you say your words are different. And that’s when I feel people actually start listening to you. (Even though they probably still won’t, lol..)

I definitely agree that we need to keep people accountable. I almost wish at times that people could hate on me, so I could see another perspective. It seems most cults are cults because everyone just follows the leader around like a baby duckling. But the only way to keep someone accountable is to actually care about that person. You can question their belief, but the way you put it is the deciding difference between if you care about the person or just hate them and hate what they say.

My problem has never really been not questioning people. I’m the person who’s constantly questioning people and doubting them, even the people in my family. But I just haven’t been a very loving or honoring person while doing it. And I feel I sometimes react to that in my posts. I can be very similar to those people who are posting the way they are, so I may have overreacted.

Thanks for the posts Amy, they really got me to think. I need that. I appreciate the time you put into them. :-D

Daniel said...

P.S. I’ve found I like it when people are confrontational. I can understand what they’re trying to say. :-P

Amy said...

Ooops, I've been meaning to reply and it's been over a week... haha or two... I guess I'm just a busy woman. =)

Okay, so it was very easy to assume that you meant specific blogger/s because of things that have been said in the past.
Just curious then, what blogs have you been reading? I've been doing some blog browsing myself.
I've seen people writing with strong language as well. But shouldn't the truth be stated strongly?
Not knowing specifically what you've been reading or are referring to, I can at least say that for me, when I'm convinced or convicted of something that emotion will come out in my writing. For example, if I discover that something is dangerous, you'll feel urgency, you'll feel how badly I want to let people know, and how sincerely I hope they can see for themselves. There's gonna be lots of emotion there. Does that discredit me?

Also, when people are blogging about different people (public figures) and ideas, they're not trying to correct the person. They're engaging in the marketplace of ideas. I'll go back to Obama. Do I need to sit down with him or write him a "loving" letter about why I think his stance on abortion is wrong before I ever consider writing a blog about it? What about Darwin? He's dead. Can we not battle his theory of evolution since it can't be done in love towards him? What I'm understanding from you is that you want these bloggers to lovingly rebuke the person, instead of pointing out flawed ideas and falsehoods and things like that. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Also, it seems to me that you're saying a person who would do that (point out wrongs, question, stand up against something, etc.) is making a judgement and acting as God. If that's the case, I would totally disagree.

Continuing with the Obama/abortion blog illustration, say I did write that and you were reading it. Would you try to figure out if I hate Obama or not? Does it matter?

Yes, we absolutely need to be loving our neighbor as ourselves.
What if loving your neighbor requires telling them that your other neighbor is a child molester? How is that being "loving" towards the child molester?
Maybe loving your neighbor entails exposing falsehoods they might fall prey to. How is that being "loving" towards those spouting the falsehoods (like the Pharisees)?
Maybe loving your neighbor means you step in and clobber the guy who is mugging him. How can you "lovingly" beat someone off?
I'm trying to say that loving God comes first. When you love God, you love your neighbors *and* you hate evil. All can be done at the same time.

How's that for confrontational? ;)

Daniel said...

Great points all around Amy. I'm too tired to post anything long back, if there is anything.

Couple thoughts.

I think emotion is great. The only thing that really discredits you is if you start throwing fallacies out there. I.e. I see the straw man and the ad hominem fallacies most often. But I think emotion (passion) can actually bring you credit as long as you're staying away from fallacious arguments.

I think writing loving letters is great. And it may do more good then ranting on your blog.


I think it's good to speak the truth. But we still need to speak it in love. I mean an entire chapter in the Bible is dedicated to love. Maybe I communicated it wrongly (which I can see). But pointing out flawed ideas and falsehoods by Obama can be done in love for the person. Not in love with the idea. I could write a post about Obama's position two different ways. I could attack him and say what an idiot he is for killing children. Or I could take his idea of killing children and explain how evil it is. And then say that because Obama believes these things I cannot support him. Just like you could love a homosexual and hate the sin. And you could say if you don't repent of this sin, God will send you to hell. While the entire time loving that person. Same thing with Obama.

I believe I wrote the blog because I was sick of the attacking of people and not the ideas. I'm all for attacking ideas. (Of course that are founded on the Bible..)

Yeah, loving God comes first. So true. Well put. I think that pretty much sums it up, I don't think I really needed to comment.

It was great. I felt like I agreed with you too much, when it all came down to it. ;-P

Sorry, I didn't reply to everything I'm too tired to do that right now... Zzzz.