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The War Room: At least we don't resort to murder!
  • The War Room
    (Thank you Gamzee for the write-up! <3)

    Greetings, fellow SDers, and welcome to The War Room. What is this you ask? After some discussion amongst staff we thought we would give an idea a run and see how it played out. This is the outcome of those discussions.

    Lay down your weapons and climb out of your trench. Take your coat off and sit down with a cup of tea. Here in The War Room we would like to foster a friendlier environment where SDers and lurkers alike can come and post without worrying about debates and being questioned. Think of it as sitting down with some friends and having a friendly discussion over the dinner table.

    This thread will serve a few purposes. First and foremost is a question: how has the Serious Discussion board affected you and your beliefs? Have certain threads, members, or arguments strengthened your faith, or perhaps changed your view on something? Has posting here made you more aware of world issues? Has the board helped you spot logical fallacies? If you'd like to mention a specific member or thread that changed or reinforced a belief you hold then feel free to discuss it.

    Have you come across an interesting article or speech related to current events that you think people should look at, but you don't think it's thread worthy? Post it here! If there is a lot of discussion going on about a particular video or article then the posts may be split off into their own thread.

    Finally, we'd like to remind you once again that flaming and personal attacks are not tolerated in the Serious Discussion forum. You should already be acquainted with the SD guidelines. If anyone is found insulting or attacking others in this thread, they will be infracted.

    Thank you, and happy posting. :D
  • I come from a right-winged milieu (my school) and some of the fairly liberal posts that pop up in SD helped me a lot with developing a more or less balanced way of thinking. I'm actually rather grateful for that, ZU pushed me towards becoming a broad-minded person.

    If I were to highlight a few people, they'd be EshDee, Asta and Lysis for posting their views about homo/trans/a/whatever sexuality and abortion. Those truly enlightened me about many things. C:
  • God dammit, I thought this was a military history thread. I've been deceived.

    Anyway, this section has kinda had a negative impact on me. It has introduced me to people who, no matter what evidence you give, or how polite you are to them, still try to mock or insult you due to your beliefs. I even got a death threat once, just because my political ideology did not conform with the beliefs of another member. it has been quite saddening to see that such people exist.

    Although this forum has allowed me to make quite a few friends. I met Great White North and Bartimaeus Sex (if that is what his username still is) as a direct result of the SD section, and they are cool people. And although I did not meet him directly because of this section, Raptor Buddha and I regularly discuss SD-related things. Which is good.

    Just a shame very few people post about the topics I find very interesting. Once had a great debate with Flames of Valor about the US and Royal Navies during the Second World War, but that is about it as far as military history (as many of you know, my specialist subject) debates go on this site in general.
  • ^ I work as a teacher subsitute and yesterday I talked about WW1 for an hour straight. You should try this job ;)


    SD for me has always been a place to be intellectually challenged. I mean, I see myself as a pretty smart guy with a lot of knowledge and common sense but there's a lot of people like that here, some who - for all I've seen - are smarter and more educated than I am. Which is a great thing because with my friends and family... I'm always the smart guy who's always right :P
    So coming here and meeting people with different educations, views on life etc is great because I do get challenged a lot and every now and then I do change my mind and get convinced that I've been wrong.

    It's of course always impressive to see some people in their prime, writing long posts with bullet points, sources etc. I'm more the kind of guy who just speak my mind spontaniously. But yeah, taking part of all these discussion makes you adapt and evolve and I think it's greatly benefitial.
  • I met Great White North

    ;_; I love you too brah.

    In my experiences of SD, I don't think I can really say that it's been responsible for greatly changing my point of view. Part of the thing about a debate is that when it gets heated, people will sink into their positions and even radicalize them.

    I find that if there is any debate that will change how I view things, it's ones that I don't actually get involved in. I changed my opinion on Abortion a long time ago because I lurked one debate between Blackswede and John.

    A lot of the time I can come across as a huge Tory or whatever, but you can ask Chris if you want. Generally, on skype and such I mellow out to be more moderate. It's definitely the competitive atmosphere of SD that drives people to the fences.

    There's nothing I can really think I'd like to see right now. I'll say that there's not a whole lot of topics on the go right now that are interesting to me. But I'm sure more interesting stuff will cycle back around.
  • This has been a pretty fun section to take part in for me lately.

    I can't think of any times that how I've viewed things has been completely changed after a debate here, or reading something from here, but there was a debate with Great White North not thaaat long ago where he definitely changed my opinion on something related to abortion haha.

    This board has definitely been good practice for discussion, though haha c:
  • I tend not to hold very strong opinions unless I am certain of the facts, and as I'm fairly undereducated about many things debated in Serious Discussion, it's always a pleasure to come here and see what bits and pieces of information people have to offer. I've learned more about the Big Bang, evolution, quantum entanglement theory (yeah, right), abortion, theology, and other such things on Serious Discussion than on Wikipedia due to the knack of some people here who are quite capable of "dumbing down explanations for the everyman". It's quite the educational experience. XD

    I think Serious Discussion has changed my opinions on some issues. For one thing, I credit Flames of Valor and Great White North particularly in being articulate and polite in describing conservative viewpoints. Being a centrist myself (meaning I'm left-wing by North American standards), I rarely agree with either of them, but concede that their explanations make a respectable amount of sense from a different point of view, and appreciate them clarifying on issues from a perspective I'm not privy to. On the other hand, several debates have moved me further from my centrist position and further towards the left; less impressive and sometimes outright outrageous posts, almost always those of a fundamentalist, conservative nature, have often served in convincing me that the right often cannot form better arguments without an outright rejection of the truth and the creation of lies, especially when it comes to religion. (No, I will not be naming names.)

    A list of people who I think I am impressed with in Serious Discussion would likely be too long, and I'd be afraid of offending people who didn't make it onto my list despite the fact that they deserved my thanks, but my short-term memory sucks. So, simply going by people who got a large number of thanks (because I only give them out if I'm really, really impressed by their post), I'll rattle off these names (aside from Flames of Valor and Great White North, who have already been mentioned above) and hope everyone else understands these are just people who really stood out for intellect, debate style, and civil behavior: Astarael, AzraelBlack, Bravo, Hombre de Mundo, John, Silver, and SuperDecimal. Here's hoping all of you continue to do what you continue to do. ^_^

    And, lastly...well, I come onto Serious Discussion almost every day, so that should answer your question as to whether or not I enjoy my time here, yes? ^_^;

    Carl Sagan wrote:

    People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Ysionris ().

  • The SD section has exposed me to viewpoints that, otherwise, I would have remained unaware of. In doing so it has helped me become more intellectually independent and aware. Thanks, ZU.

    But I don't post here often. Now I just read more, since Mike has taken to cracking down on my heavily sarcastic quips.
  • Astarael wrote:

    Have certain threads, members, or arguments strengthened your faith, or perhaps changed your view on something? Has posting here made you more aware of world issues? Has the board helped you spot logical fallacies? If you'd like to mention a specific member or thread that changed or reinforced a belief you hold then feel free to discuss it.

    Well, John and Astarael both pretty much turned my views on homosexuality around 180 degrees (Both in VM/PM I believe), so that's certainly had an impact on my views. I profoundly thank them for that.

    I would probably never have interacted with Raptor Buddha, Double A, or Tabby (Among others), if Great White North hadn't impressed me with his posts around here, thus making me message him, and then becoming very active in his skype group.

    There aren't many people whose posts I can always respect even when I disagree with them, but I have to say that Astarael, Ysionris, Bravo, and Raptor Buddha pretty much always make me sit back and think long and deep (:waggle:) about how my views could very well be wrong. Most people I would just get irritated and leave SD for a while before coming back to lurk some more.
  • SD changes my mind all the time.

    Every now and again I come across an argument for a viewpoint I don't agree with, and I'm like, "Damn! Why didn't I think of that?" Maybe it doesn't change my opinion about what is being discussed, but I sure as hell have respect for a view that I previously didn't understand. Normally when this happens I merely stop arguing about it rather than conceding that my opponent has a valid point, since I don't view SD as a place to spout my personal epiphanies, so I guess I can come off as just as stubborn as anyone else, when in reality that isn't true.

    Too bad that is also countered with people who will refuse to accept a change in opinion.
  • <3 Dr. Strangelove.

    Well, Great White North seems to be getting all the loving, and being the shameless rebel that I am, I’ll join in this love orgy as well. Great White North is as close as Zelda Universe’s Serious Discussion section has to an Honorable Leader of the Opposition. His ability to articulate viewpoints which, I think it’s fair to say, the majority of the community disagrees with, and to articulate these viewpoints with intelligence, humor, and civility is quite impressive. He generally maintains these qualities in the face of fierce opposition, and it’s not uncommon for him to have debates with three posters at once within the same topic. Whatever you think about his views, he adds a tremendous degree of intellectual diversity to SD, and I think the section should be very grateful for his presence. I don’t think SD could as for a better Leader of the Opposition.

    Also, on a personal note, I’m also grateful to him for being the first to introduce me to ZUers on Skype, namely excellent fellows like Double A and Bartimaeus.

    Now, as for whether SD has caused me to fundamentally question deeply held positions, I answer no. However, I don’t think that’s an indictment of SD members’ powers of persuasion, and more a statement about me. I generally don’t have very many deeply held positions or beliefs, and I try to approach each issue based on the facts specific to that situation.

    While I don’t think SD has inspired any life altering epiphanies, it occasionally does force me to consider issues and questions that I would otherwise be tempted to take for granted. Case-in-point, though I rarely agree with his views, I appreciated a thread Andross made not too long ago where he questioned whether individualism in itself had any merit—especially in a transhumanist existence. I think we fundamentally disagreed, but the exercise did prompt me to analyze what I thought about a topic I had taken for granted: individualism. While Pietro and GWN are correct in pointing out that debate can entrench deeply held beliefs, the intellectual process of entrenchment is itself, I think, a good thing; especially in lieu of the alternative—no analysis at all.

    Probably the only deeply held belief I’ve had challenged is by Tabby, who seeks to unhinge me from my position that the F-22 Raptor is the finest warplane ever devised. I’m sorry to say that I doubt I’ll concede, but she makes a very strong case for it. :P

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Raptor Buddha ().

  • <3 Raptor Buddha, Bartimaeus and Great White North. Allowing me to become tight with these people was easily the first thing that came to mind when I'm asked what SD did for me.

    As for the philosophical side, I would be a dirty liar if I said that SD didn't open my mind to many many different positions on morality, religion, etc. I have SD in particular to thank for helping me become more open-minded and intellectually-honest, especially in my atheism.

    That, and SD is a good way to kill time.

    The post was edited 3 times, last by Double A ().

  • I find that the board is a good place to bounce ideas off people, because the variety of views held by people who can actually reason them means that I can model my arguments to become virtually unassailable. Or if my arguments cannot be tempered then I can drop them and formulate new perspectives as a result. A good number of people can be credited with helping me to strengthen my arguments and view them from other perspectives, those people know who they are.

    "Even should the heavens fall, let Justice prevail."

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Lord Zero ().

  • Well, to begin I've been a part of ZU since I was twelve (three days before my 13th birthday). Some combination of real life and ZU helped me stop being a fucking idiot. I was racist, sexist, despised religion, and generally was extremely spiteful and closed minded.

    For somewhat recent (within the last 2 years), I can name a few. For one I care about politics now. I never bothered to keep up with politicians or serious matters going on across the globe. Never bothered to care about the environment, or any bills being passed. Now I try to keep myself up to date and be aware of the world.

    GWN and Tabby come in mind. They've helped me understand conservatism better and I get where they're coming from now. Great White North especially helped me understand the pro-life position better. Before I would just hear about god doesn't like it and that it kills souls or other things that didn't do anything for me. He really helped in that regard to make me see it as a debate about what defines a person, and a question of morality. I still disagree but I understand now.

    For philosophy in general I look up to Tallgeese. Late last year I took an introduction to philosophy class and really enjoyed it. I began to notice some terms, arguments, and people he'd quote were in my book. I think it helped me become more analytical.

    My views on both religion and spirituality have changed a lot throughout the years here. In my early ears I outright despised every single religion out there. I gradually chilled out and didn't hate them, but I just didn't feel like I cared about it all. I didn't even want to call myself an atheist or an agnostic because I just didn't care to debate or discuss it.

    When I started being a more spiritual person, it was like I suddenly switched teams and found myself sympathizing with Christians rather than atheists when it came to belief in religion. Just like there are Christians who attack and belittle other religions, there are atheists who do the same in return (although, I noticed this much more IRL than here). Now I hold this view where I don't see why we should care about what other people believe if it doesn't cause a tangible effect. If someone thinks they're a fruit bat and so that's why they love fruit, well, whatever man.

    edit: Also, I was completely unaware that transgenderism was even a word, or a thing. I was one of those people who thought sex and gender were interchangeable.

    Sig by Malia

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Jaime Lannister ().

  • I guess I have good times here, this section teaches me a lot and I love it for that. It's the coolest thing ever cos there are so many different veiw points and I can start to see things from more angles and take it all in. Maybe reading all the different sides influenced my beliefs some, I can't honestly say, because I don't know when that happened that I broke out and became my own person. I know that if I don't get something I can sit and read the different sides of an arguement and I can form my opinion.

    But I've also grown to see the worst in people because of this section. Because some people no matter what think they are right and completely ignore what a me or anyone else will say to them. They won't budge or have any openness in their mind. It makes me mad seeing those people, because I just want them to see the other side of the argument and they refuse. I've got very upset over this board because the fundamentalists, extremist, just thinks they're always right person won't let anything through. And I don't mean extremist in the kill for my ideal way, I just didn't know what the right word was. I started with fundamentalist because that's what it is, their opinion is fundamental to their belief, bt then I figured that'd be associated with just Christianity. Anyway I'm really off topic, I meant it shows me how bad passion can be, when it becomes blinding. That was a piece of this place. Buut it doesn't outweight the environment and how it teaches and shows so many different perspectives, that you don't find anywhere else.

    No magenta
  • a general discussion thread for the Serious Discussion community? How wonderful! Someone pour me a cup of tea. Three lumps please, thank you.

    to answer the icebreaker question, I should start by saying that nothing about the Serious Discussion forum or its members and their arguments has strengthened my faith in any way shape or form. In fact, ever since I first joined the Serious Discussion forum (back when it was called Internet: Serious Business—ah, the good ol' days) my faith steadily declined until I no longer had any left and I would be lying if I said that the SD did not play an instrumental role in causing this to take place.

    pass me one of those biscuits.

    pronouns: it/its or squi/squir
    ask me about my LGBTA+ and nonbinary Discord servers.
  • I don't post in the SD unless I'm modding, but I know the area, its posters and mods very well because a lot of work that I do for this area, I do behind the scenes with the mods who run this board, and I keep up with most threads while out of obligation, yes, because that stupid admin banner I wear means my activity goes right across ZU, but also because there are certain people who post here whose posts I enjoy muchly.

    Like Great White North/Matt.

    Thing is most of what he says I don't even agree with lol at least politically, but that's not the point. I enjoy how he holds himself, how he can be open to other ideas, can stand his ground, and he does this while often arguing shit that I've seen a lot of people go what-the-fuck at. It's not easy to take the unpopular stance, but man I love how Matt doesn't take that shit personally. So thanks, Matt, for being someone I can disagree with on a lot of issues haha and still enjoy your attitude overall.
  • Dovahkiin wrote:

    I met Great White North

    theunabletable wrote:

    a debate with Great White North

    Ysionris wrote:

    Great White North particularly in being articulate and polite in describing conservative viewpoints.

    Bartimaeus Sex wrote:

    if Great White North hadn't impressed me with his posts around here

    Raptor Buddha wrote:

    Great White North is as close as Zelda Universe’s Serious Discussion section has to an Honorable Leader of the Opposition.

    Double A wrote:

    <3 Raptor Buddha, Bartimaeus and Great White North.

    Gamzee wrote:

    GWN and Tabby come in mind. They've helped me understand conservatism better and I get where they're coming from now. Great White North especially helped me understand the pro-life position better.

    Liah wrote:

    Like Great White North/Matt.