Author Topic: The Obligation to Respond  (Read 941 times)

Offline Hijiri Byakuren (OP)

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The Obligation to Respond
« on: October 07, 2016, 02:39:19 PM »
Do we have an obligation to respond to posts and comments directed at us on internet forums? I don't just mean this site, either: Reddit, YouTube comments, anywhere that people are likely to engage in discussions.

I ask this because there seems to be a trend in these places I frequent where people, upon voicing an unpopular opinion, become indignant at having to explain themselves: whether it's politics, religion, or discussing which Godzilla films are the best, I see this crop up everywhere. In those cases, wouldn't it be better to just be silent and move on?

Sometimes I refrain from responding to posts on this forum for various reasons, and one of those reasons is if I don't think I can respond without sounding childish. However, many people (myself included, I'm not perfect) will instead choose to dig a deeper hole for themselves, or say things like, "I don't have to justify my views." Even if you're correct, it comes off sounding like you're too thin-skinned to handle criticism. Eventually people start turning on you, not because what you say is necessarily incorrect, but simply because "fuck you."

Is there an obligation to respond in these situations, or are there times when a "down-vote and move on" approach is more warranted?

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 06:17:05 PM »
I think there are times when it's better to just ignore it and move on.

As a habit, I try not to feed the trolls we get here beyond a certain point.  A couple of posts and I'm out, usually.  I try not to touch page 20 of a troll thread, though sometimes I just can't help myself.  If the conversation has completely degenerated to flame wars, it's a good idea to just let it go.  (Clearly, this is a lesson a learned from personal experience)  If someone's coming to the thread with some off-topic personal attack, just a flagrant attempt to get your goat and provoke a response because they crave attention - I refuse to give them that attention.  And finally, there are people who are so consistently awful that I ignore them entirely - they don't even exist from my perspective.  (I don't envy the mods at all for having to wade through that stuff)

TL;DR - ignore trolls, flame wars, off-topic BS, and trogs.

There are also times that I think it's a good idea to respond.  Personally, I'm terrified of being misunderstood, so I'll respond to almost any response that I feel misunderstood my argument just so the peanut gallery doesn't get the wrong impression.

I could say literally anything about Israel and people would either assume I'm 100% pro-Israel (Israel can do no wrong) or that I want Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth.  I could say "Uganda is a shit country" and run the risk of being called a racist who hates all black people.  I could even say something seemingly innocuous like "vaccines are safe and effective" only to have someone respond back "are you saying that no one's ever been hurt from a vaccine?!" - my words twisted into some bizarre absolute.  Safe is of course a relative term.

99% of the time, I'll take great pains to clarify my position - I don't mind requests for clarification, but I really hate being lambasted for views that I don't actually hold.  Also, if I'm positive I made a mistake, I'll correct it and advance a more reasonable position.  But if I sense that someone's being disingenuous and they'd object to what I'm saying no matter what, I just let it go.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 06:19:26 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Baruch

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 06:23:05 PM »
No obligation to read, no obligation to post, no obligation to respond.
שלום

Offline aitm

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 06:35:37 PM »
More and more I simply state my opinion and let it lay. It is what it is. I am not going to argue about it. Frankly, I have my opinion most likely because I am not a knee jerk reactionary, nor a sensationalist. When I do not respond, it is simply because for that very reason. I stated my opinion, there ya go, have a nice day.

On the occasion I feel like arguing then of course, it all goes to shit in an hour and kittens die and houses burn and I get plenty of fuckyouuptheass's…..meh….why bother sometimes?

If I comment and the reaction turns (most typical here) into a rabid raving bouncing denunciation of something I didn't even say, it is more fun to "meh" and let them steam in their own bile.

Or, I do the same and we have the aforementioned dead kittens etc…..

A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2016, 06:45:35 PM »
No obligation to read, no obligation to post, no obligation to respond.
Yeah, pretty much.  That reminds me of another thing I want to touch on - silence doesn't mean agreement.  Someone could come on here tomorrow and post something crazy, I dunno calling for genocide on all South Americans, and I'd get someone pissy at me for letting it stand.  You know why I let it stand?  It's so moronic that I don't feel that I need to take it seriously and didn't want to feed the troll.

Please don't try to infer my position from silence.  Silence means nothing.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 06:51:47 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline SGOS

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 07:02:28 PM »
More and more I simply state my opinion and let it lay. It is what it is. I am not going to argue about it.

I find myself doing that often.  I used to respond, especially if it irritated someone, but I'd end up justifying my post, which seldom accomplishes much.  If someone doesn't like what I say, I respect that.  I may or may not bother to defend it.  I just said what I said, and unless I see something seriously wrong with it, I'll just let it be.

There are always exceptions, however.  Randy constantly issues nut ball challenges, but he's just looking to fuck with people, so sometimes, if I'm not worn out or things are slow, I'll point out his nonsense, just to watch him until I get tired or bored.  But it's mostly just a pointless endeavor that occupies some time.

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2016, 06:20:37 AM »
NO, we don't.

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2016, 06:28:40 AM »
More and more I simply state my opinion and let it lay. It is what it is. I am not going to argue about it. Frankly, I have my opinion most likely because I am not a knee jerk reactionary, nor a sensationalist. When I do not respond, it is simply because for that very reason. I stated my opinion, there ya go, have a nice day.

On the occasion I feel like arguing then of course, it all goes to shit in an hour and kittens die and houses burn and I get plenty of fuckyouuptheass's…..meh….why bother sometimes?

If I comment and the reaction turns (most typical here) into a rabid raving bouncing denunciation of something I didn't even say, it is more fun to "meh" and let them steam in their own bile.

Or, I do the same and we have the aforementioned dead kittens etc…..

You are a knee jerk reactionary. You are just not expressing it in today's terms, which is considered as the typical one here. Other than you are another emotional sap, like almost all old school tough guys are.

Your most complicated reaction to an issue is declaring that whoever disagrees with your opinion is stupid.

Other than that your contribution to social issues is along the lines of reasoning of 'teaching young girls and women not to get raped and how stupid they are because they like guys you think they shouldn't'. Just an example.

 :smooch:

 

Offline Sal1981

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 07:16:42 AM »
Depends on the contents of the post usually. If I find it interesting, I'll more likely respond. Though I feel no inclination either way (besides level of interest) to respond to posts directed at me.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline aitm

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2016, 07:54:04 AM »
You are a knee jerk reactionary. You are just not expressing it in today's terms, which is considered as the typical one here. Other than you are another emotional sap, like almost all old school tough guys are.

Your most complicated reaction to an issue is declaring that whoever disagrees with your opinion is stupid.

Other than that your contribution to social issues is along the lines of reasoning of 'teaching young girls and women not to get raped and how stupid they are because they like guys you think they shouldn't'. Just an example.

 :smooch:

 

Oh yeah! Well, YOU'RE a goddam manhating er…………..uh……furriner. So THERE!……


See, here we go…...
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2016, 08:14:10 AM »
Oh yeah! Well, YOU'RE a goddam manhating er…………..uh……furriner. So THERE!……


See, here we go…...

:lol: Dat's Miss Furriner to ya... *Evil Cackle

Offline Baruch

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2016, 10:33:05 AM »
Yeah, pretty much.  That reminds me of another thing I want to touch on - silence doesn't mean agreement.  Someone could come on here tomorrow and post something crazy, I dunno calling for genocide on all South Americans, and I'd get someone pissy at me for letting it stand.  You know why I let it stand?  It's so moronic that I don't feel that I need to take it seriously and didn't want to feed the troll.

Please don't try to infer my position from silence.  Silence means nothing.

Don't worry, one of our SJW folks will pop up and pop off ;-)
שלום

Offline Mermaid

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2016, 10:53:44 AM »
The only thing I am obligated to do is pay my mortgage and take care of my animals.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

John F. Kennedy

Offline Cavebear

Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 09:43:06 AM »
I hate to ask, being new and all, but is there a way to block a particular poster.  Its not that I disagree with the opinions, but the very animated graphic is just too annoying while I am trying to make a considered reply in general. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead

Offline Hijiri Byakuren (OP)

  • ULC Minister, Honorary Doctor of Divinity
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Re: The Obligation to Respond
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2016, 10:44:01 AM »
I hate to ask, being new and all, but is there a way to block a particular poster.  Its not that I disagree with the opinions, but the very animated graphic is just too annoying while I am trying to make a considered reply in general.
I'll change it the next time I have access to a PC. In the meantime, you can either put me on your "foes" list or go into your settings and turn off forum signatures.


Equal opportunity butt-stabber.