Internet trolls thrive on bullying, generating outrage, creating fake conflicts, violating community standards, and kicking books out of the hands of nerds in the hallway.   They, like gods, cannot live without attention.  The attention that sustains them, is outrage.   And just like gods, and Tinker Bell, if you don't believe in them, they fade away.

 

If a troll happens to respond to this topic, even here, it's best not to respond to it.  I forget whether the person who starts a topic can remove responses, but if so...  that could happen.  Meanwhile, you can talk about the troll, but not actually respond to it.

 

I don't now what's up with admin.  Regardless, this is the best atheist site on Ning or any other network.  The annual troll visitation will pass, things will settle down, and the sun will shine again.

 

 

Actual unretouched photo taken of a troll.  Via commons.wikimedia.org

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I've submitted two reports.

Has anyone here contacted Richard directly?  If not, perhaps we can designate one person to do so.  I did once before with another issue and it was taken care of quickly. 

Doesn't AN have a rule that only atheists are allowed?  I am certain that he wasn't.  He used the OT as evidence that the Jews did horrible things to people.

You are right. I dont know if those quotes are the same as admitting to theism, but they seem close.

I believe his atheism is sincere, but he's apparently using the non-supernatural parts of the bible as a legitimate guide to history.  Yes, parts of the bible are historically accurate, but not enough overall to be a credible reference.  It's all a mind game to validate your ideology. 

Carl, I think you are right on his biblical history use. Israel Finkelstein has proven OT history to be outright false in most instances and off by 100 years in others. It's doubtful that the main heroes in OT history even existed. Susan and others have thought our troll was really a theist, but I suspect he is a self involved opinionated atheist who thinks everyone in the world should be just like he is, right down to his color and basic beliefs. Theists want to say that atheists are angry. Our troll appeared to be very angry and getting his thrill and attention by spreading his mess.

I'm sure the Jews like the Persians, Assyrians etc. etc. did horrible things to people. 

The old testament isn't history, but maybe cs just doesn't know that. It doesn't mean they're religious.  Many of us would think the Exodus etc. actually happened, until we find out otherwise. 

It's mindblowing that a Hitler fan criticizes the Jews for cruelty!

I suggest a single reply to identify the person as a troll and then exit the conversation and leave the troll hanging.

According to Wikipedia, a troll

is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

So the "troll" accusation implies the person is making their obnoxious statements with an ulterior motive.  It suggests they don't necessarily mean what they're saying, they get their jollies out of being outrageous. 

It seems to be a way to discount what the "troll" is saying. 

But in reality, cs seems sincere, and really does fancy himself as an enlightened thinker bringing truth to us "brainwashed cultists". 

I don't think he was "sincere" at all. In my mind what he was doing is called "playing a game."

This is how he got his jollies.

I don't think he was "sincere" at all. In my mind what he was doing is called "playing a game."

People tend to attribute insincerity to people who disagree with them or whose attitudes puzzle them.

So while you may be right, you may also be using a common tactic for making the world seem sensible.

Other people can be very different from us in their thinking - and this is an uncomfortable reality.  It's more comfortable to think in terms of people playing a game. 

None of us have an infallible sense of what goes on in other people.  I'm perhaps less likely than most to think other people are being duplicitous, because the truth and being straightforward and emotionally honest matters a great deal to me. 

I can imagine a bitter teenager leaning over a computer screen and chuckling to themselves "ha ha, I'll stir up the waters here, by posting something racist!" 

But that's an awfully childish entertainment and it seems like it would grow old, awfully quickly. 

I once knew a hacker teenager who admitted he was becoming friends with this younger single parented kid and waiting for the right moment when he would destroy the younger one's computer online.

What would he do that for? Probably because he can.

For the same reason those three teens killed that Aussie young man a couple years ago.  They were bored.

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