Friday, February 26, 2010

Last but not least...

Following the death of the RD forums, there has been a lot of hype over the internet. The news travelled fast, and if you search you will find a lot of posts in blogs, in articles and more. Peter Harrison was contacted by journalists and more, but whatever we, the old mod team, had to say has been said. In our blogs, in various forums, in various comments in blog posts.

But we don't want to blow this out of proportion. Because what a lot of people have not understood, is that it was never about the proposed changes. It was about the way both the mod team and the members of the forum were treated. As Sciwoman, an admin on the RDF said, this was a classic example of how not to do it.

I do not want to post any more on this, nor do I want to go to any more sites that are reporting the events. All I wanted, was to get the truth out about what happened. This has been done, by many people. I wish to thank anyone out there who helped to put the record straight. It is now time to move on. 

Goodbye RDF, and Welcome to Rational Skepticism. Most of the old mod team is now on Rational Skepticism, and for anyone still out there from RDF, but also anyone else interested in science and reason, we welcome you to the new forum. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Death of a forum: An ex-admin blogs about the defunct forum

Peter Harrison was for a very long time a moderator and admin of the forum. He put on a lot of his personal time and work to make the forum the incredible place it was. Peter was also the moderator that tutored every newbie moderator about the moderator control panels, what to do and what not to do, and many other things. He was the first person to congratulate me and tell me how happy he was that I would be moderating the Debunking Creationism subforum. I have a lot of respect for Peter, and last night he wrote a wonderful piece about the forum and how Josh Timonen and Andrew Chalkers killed the forum and the community.

The article can be found here: Death of the Dawkins forum - The world's busiest atheist forum closes

He has told the story much better than I could. The previous articles I wrote were more of a rant and an obituary. A rant because of the way both members and staff were treated by Josh Timonen and Andrew Chalkers; an obituary because those two site techs killed the forum totally with their actions.

I would like to say a big thank you to the moderating staff of the Richard Dawkins forum, all of them, from the ones that left before I joined, to the ones that were "sacked" on Monday. Thank you to all of you for making the forum what it was, and I am proud to have been given the chance to contribute as a moderator and member.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the members of the forum. You, people, were the heart of the forum, and what made it what it was. It was the busiest atheist forum on the net, maybe even one of the busiest and most active forums on the net.

Goodbye Richard Dawkins forum.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Death of a forum: death of the forum II

The forum user hackenslash put this video up on youtube:

Death of a forum: death of the forum

Good morning everyone,

A lot of people may already know that until yesterday I was a global moderator on RDF and went by the same name as I write here: Darkchilde.

The RDF staff had no idea what was going to happen; we only knew that there was going to be a new site, and nothing much else. We made a couple of threads in the moderator's subforum, trying to pitch on ideas about the new forum, what we would like to see and other similar things. We also tried telling Josh and Andrew what the forum community is. But they did not listen, I think they were even worse than creotards in that respect.

Anyway, I  don't know if a lot people know what has happened; Josh and Andrew have deleted the New Forum discussion, because both members and staff were very unhappy with the decision, and were speaking their minds. Also because of this they took the forum down last night. Now members cannot post anything, just use PM.

This is going to cost to the RDFRS cause a lot, and the fools do not understand it. I am sorry, but I will not be supporting it any more. The site techs and admins have shown that they do not respect the people that have contributed so much there. I am not going to get involved in the new sanitized and borged new area of theirs. I like the chaos and feel of forums, I like the live community of forums, the banter, the silly threads, the serious threads... After all I am human, and that's what a forum community is about: being human, being able to let go and many times say things you were not able to say in your every day life.

For me, the forum became over the 2 years I have been there, like a second home, somewhere where I could let off steam, I could talk to like-minded people, and more. It also was a place that helped me get through the first anniversary of my little sister's death, in 2008.

I am sorry that Josh and Andrew feel they had to axe the forum. I don't know why, and right now, I don't care why. All I care is that I am so angry and frustrated, and going totally in emotional circles. Because I had invested a lot of work in the forum, I knew certain areas of the forum quite well, and the community therein. A lot of people contributing hours in order to post a rebuttal to creationist posts, or to debunk alien conspiracy videos... Hours to write one essay for the science competition Mazille started, and more.

Some people are trying to save a lot of the threads there. There are threads, like the debate threads, and the huge flood debate thread that should be visible and accessible to everyone on the net.

And all that for what? This is not just a rant, but an obituary. An obituary about the death of a wonderful community.

Goodbye forever,

PS. RDF = Richard Dawkins Forum

Update: it seems that Josh Timonen has deleted one of the science mods, Mazille along with all the posts he made, just because he spoke his mind aloud. Mazille is one of the newest mods, and the one who made the science competition happen.  More updates on the situation as information comes in.

More blogposts about the death: Jerome - The End of an Era: Richard Dawkins Forum to Close

Update 2: Josh also deleted another user's account, CJ, along with all his posts. CJ was a global moderator until October of 2008. Seems like Josh really doesn't like all the criticism he is getting.

Frankly, after all this, I would not go back to the forum if it was reopened unless Josh and Andrew were fired, and people who respect the community are hired. Josh has shown that he is not interested in the membership, nor the volunteer staff, like me, like Topsy, Sciwoman, Ilovelucy, Mazille, Gallstones and more. However, with decisions like this he is hurting the Foundation, because most members were also a driving force that actively supported the Foundation. Don't count on any contribution from me on the next fundraiser, if things go like this. Josh has shown no respect for me or the other staff, and this is the only way I have of making my displeasure known. By blogging and by withdrawing any support for the foundation.

Oh, and please join me and other staff from RDF over at rationalia:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is the Doctor more ethical than God?

What sparked this admittedly silly comparison is a thread on the now defunct Richard Dawkins forum, titled Is the Doctor More Ethical than Jesus?. Most people who voted, said Yes, the Doctor is more ethical than Jesus. But I take it one step further, and I thought to compare the Doctor with God himself.

As the Doctor himself has said, Timelords are living gods. They understand the fabric of time and space much better than all other races, and they traveled spacetime, correcting mistakes, helping people. At least, until the last Time War.

My answer is that the Doctor is more ethical than Jesus or God himself. Why? First of all, the Doctor would never committ genocide. He respects all life, even that of the Daleks, as he tried to help them on some occasions. He was very crossed with the Human Doctor in Journey's End, when he destroyed all Daleks, thereby committing genocide. The Doctor even tried to save Davros on that occasion, but Davros himself refused. As opposed to the Judeo-Christian god, who, according to the Bible, has committed genocide more than once. One example: in Numbers 31, god orders Moses to completely destroy the Midianites!

And to take this one step further, he does not punish the Human Doctor. He tells him that his actions were wrong, and finds him a place in the universe to be. He lets him be with Rose, the woman he loved, in a parallel universe.

The Doctor has no problem with people's sexuality. Jack Harkness was an omnisexual, as he was born in the 51st century, and he accompanied the Doctor on some of his adventures. The Doctor has no problem with homosexuality, as the Judeo-Christian god seems to have. There are a number of passages in the Bible, where homosexuality is considered a sin, homosexuals are considered monsters and are condemned to death.In fact these are some passages from the Bible that reveal the homophobia of christianity:

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

There are more where the above came for,  and it shows the inhumanity of many of religious views. 

How about women? The Doctor respects women, and has had many of them as his travelling companions. Just in the new series, he has had three: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Donna Noble. He respected and loved each one for their own worth. In fact, he tells Donna that she is more important and is worth much more than she thinks; he even snaps at Donna's mother because she always criticized Donna, and should offer her a word of support. 

What about god then? Oh the Judeo-Christian god is a misogynistic prick, who thinks that women are only worth for reproduction. That, we, women are inferior only because our genitals are found inside our bodies, and not externally... What a character! And how does this start? Because of a stupid myth, the one of Adam and Eve. The Bible is full of misogyny, and sexism. Let's look at just one example, in Deuteronomy:

22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

So, if a woman is raped, and does not cry out she is to blame! Is this real justice?

I could go on and on, but this is a silly post and I know it. But in the end, the Doctor is more ethical than the Judeo-Christian god. And he is usually much more handsome, at least in the latest incarnations of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant...