Why blog at all?

Today, while responding to a post by wally on his blog, I got a question that I’d like to make a post of my own and then open up to your careful consideration and response. It was, as I could only interpret, about why I even bother commenting on blogs or posts that I disagree with. He asked why I do it… what do I hope to gain by doing so? An odd question I think…

patrickhawthorne01

November 19, 2016 at 17:24

Reply

KIA…Is it Mike? Anyways, I just have two questions for you based on curiosity. Why do you shadow Wally’s post? What do you expect to gain by your comments? Again, I’m just curious.

Liked by 1 person

  • KIA

    November 19, 2016 at 17:53

    Thx Patrick for the question. I follow and converse with many different people on blogs I both agree with and disagree. What I gain is understanding and freedom to express. Open discussions with people you know are going to disagree is not a waste of time. I believe eventually, all parties ‘gain’ and benefit from doing so. Hope that helps you understand where I’m coming from. Have a great day

    Like

  • KIA

    November 19, 2016 at 18:02

    I could equally have questioned your motivations for asking me these questions, but I didn’t. Wouldn’t be fair to do so, it would only serve to bias me against the opportunity for honest and open, non defensive conversation with you. I try not to prejudice people by what I think their motives may be. I usually allow the person to speak for themselves. And if they are honest. Great. But if they are not, it will usually come out in what they say, how they say it, and how they treat me as they are saying it. Thx again for the question and the opportunity for clarification.

What do I expect to gain? What an interesting and possibly loaded question…

What do you think? Why do you blog or comment on blogs? How would you have answered Patrick’s question? Why not tell me in the comments below. thx

-kia

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59 thoughts on “Why blog at all?

  1. I suspect you already realize that question reflects the mind set of many of the religious. They want messaging that conforms to their bias, not “honest conversation”. They’re not willing to consider they might be wrong. It re-enforces othering of out groups and discourages independent thought.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Very good answer. We blog to communicate and when others comment, even in disagreement or challenge, it’s the second half of a conversation. It gives a kind of validation that we aren’t just pissing into the wind

        Liked by 2 people

    • I want to give Patrick the benefit of the doubt, but you’re right. Sometimes they ask this kind of a question to discourage conversations they don’t want to have. If they can keep others from asking questions they don’t want to deal with, all the better, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect you already realize that question reflects the mind set of many of the religious.

      Doesn’t this statement ALSO reinforce “othering of out groups?” Literally, you’re whole response was to talk about those OTHER people and ascribe negative traits to them. I think it’s a legitimate question to ask what KIA hopes to achieve by engaging with Wally and his ilk.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I agree KIA that you do a good job at making real attempts at communication and understanding. Sometimes, one has to accept that changing someone’s mind isn’t going to happen. I think one of the goals of internet conversation should be an attempt to genuinely understand the other person and their perspective, even if persuasion isn’t going to happen.

          Liked by 1 person

      • My comment was an assessment of what happens on some christian blogs. It’s not a welcoming place for comments they consider outside their belief set. Making an observation about the general state of thinking on Wally’s blog isn’t othering per se. Given your logic we could never disagree with anyone for fear of othering them. Why have an atheist blog? Is that othering? Where’s the line of distinction? Who makes it?

        “Wally and his ILK” <<==== Is this othering? Just curious.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t think my logic implies you can never disagree with another person at all. After all, I’m doing so right now! There is a big difference between responding directly to something someone said and pointing out specific reasons why they’re wrong, preferably with evidence, and ascribing motivations and behaviors to people and then generalizing about their group attributes.

          Let us compare:

          Hypothetical Example 1) You’re wrong that internet conversation with opposing sides is useless because . . . [Fill in blank with reasons and evidence]

          Hypothetical Example 2) You’re only questioning the validity of open discussion because people like you hate open discussions and this is a reflection of the bad thinking that defines religious people like you.

          Do you see any difference between the two?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t recall saying internet conversations were useless. I also didn’t say KIA shouldn’t engage Wally on his blog. Again, I made an observation about the mindset of Wally’s readers. I personally find those people toxic and so it wouldn’t be *my* personal choice to engage them. I’m sure KIA has his reasons, and will continue to do so as long as it suits him.
            You made reference specifically to othering. It would be less distracting if you’d stay on point. How do either of your hypothetical points address othering esp in relation to the questions I asked.? Also, I’m still quite interested to know if this remark you made

            “Wally and his ILK”

            would be considered othering.

            In fact, I’d appreciate it if you’d start with that first.

            Liked by 1 person

            • “Wally and his ILK” <<==== Is this othering? Just curious.

              My remark about “Wally and his ilk” could be considerered a type of Othering at the level of language. It mostly was just poorly chosen words, which reinforces the point that it’s very easy to slip into in-group/out-group distinctions and to Other people unintentionally.

              Where’s the line of distinction? Who makes it?

              Common sense and reason. Are you challenging the points or attacking the person, ascribing motivations, and generalizing about their group? The former is disagreement, the latter is Othering.

              As I already stated, there is a big difference between responding directly to something someone said and pointing out specific reasons why they’re wrong, preferably with evidence (disagreement without Othering), and ascribing motivations and behaviors to people and then generalizing about their group attributes (Othering).

              Let us compare two examples of said differences below to see how they look different:

              Hypothetical Example 1 (disagreement without Othering) –

              Hey Joe, I know you think internet debate is a waste time, but in my experience you’re wrong because . . .
              a) I know five people who all deconverted after intense internet debate (Reason 1)
              b) A recent study by Super Awesome Peer-Reviewed University shows that having the points repeated over a long period of time during a disagreement leads to minds being changed 95% of the time. (Reason 2)
              c) And even when in situations where I haven’t changed my mind and the other person hasn’t changed their minds, I, at least, felt I learned something new about where the other person was coming from and it made me feel more connected to them as a human being. (Reason 3).

              Hypothetical Example 2 is an example of disagreement that involves Othering.

              Look Joe, a person like you only questions the validity of online discussion because people with your religious mindset just want to confirm their biases and aren’t interested in having an honest conversation. They aren’t willing to consider they might be wrong!

              Notice example 1 involves disagreeing, but doesn’t make any statements about the person’s group or possible motivations. It just lists the reasons why the person disagrees. Notice in Example 2, which I copy and pasted parts from your original post, the disagreement is ALL ABOUT making statements about the group’s characteristics and motivations, even suggesting a question isn’t a legitimate question.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, I guess, I fall in the group that says it is a waste of time. I have never believed, when it comes to religion or politics, that people of differing opinions will ever sway each other, or even listen to each other for that matter. In those two arenas people just tend to be intransigent. All it does is produce an aura of negativity for both. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read their posts to get a different slant on things.

    Having said all this, I do respond to folks who post a differing opinion on something I have posted, both as a courtesy and to defend what I have said. However, I will not get into a long back and forth tirade with anyone, again to avoid the negativity.

    Frankly, I prefer discussing with people who validate my feelings and beliefs. I’ve worked long and hard to arrive at them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand both of your points, al. And I agree. When a conversation just becomes a pissing match, it’s not much fun or very productive. I try to avoid this as well… most times.

      Like

    • I think I will take this opportunity to whole heartedly disagree with what you said Al, specifically “I have never believed, when it comes to religion or politics, that people of differing opinions will ever sway each other”
      In the past several hundred years, much progress has been made in terms of morality and politics. Although there is still a ways to go, there has been much progress made for example in the plight of LGBT people to be treated equally under the law. This is even more true of black people, who, until a little over 150 years ago, were considered no human but merely chattle and property, akin to livestock and other beasts of burden. This has been achieved, in my opinion, by the direct challenge of previously held beliefs and positions that had no basis in anything other severely flawed thinking and irrationality and prejudice.
      It is true, that there are some people that are beyond reach, but there are always lurkers that may not say anything, but are watching and listening. And when they see a person as indignant, uncooperative and dodge-y as a Wally or mrsmcmommy on basic questions and points they refuse address, that’s where the seed of doubt gets planted. They see a person unwilling to defend anything they wrote but rather resort to ad hominem and other logical fallacies and question dodging.
      In addition to that “Frankly, I prefer discussing with people who validate my feelings and beliefs. I’ve worked long and hard to arrive at them!” sounds like a commitment to not wanting to consider other view points that conflict with your own. It’s the antithesis of learning. Something, coincidentally, that I have told Wally on more than on occasion. Any position held by any one on any subject, should be able to be defended with logic, reason and evidence and be able to withstand a rigorous scrutiny intact. If it cannot, then it should be thrown in the garbage like yesterdays newspaper.

      Like

      • Thanks for your reply, Ashley. When I talk about the uselessness of people trying to sway each other on politics and religion I referred, of course, to back and forth on blogs and at the dinner table. Or over a drink. While your points about freeing the slaves and LGBT rights are correct, they were not exactly solved by dinner discussions or blogs. It was after great loss of life (think civil war, Matthew Shepard, Harvey Milk). These were momentous events, but you and I are never going to achieve those results by challenging each other on a blog, we’ll only satisfy our own egos. The fact that you felt you had to refute my comment makes my point. And this is exactly why I prefer to face reality and not “get into it” with people of differing opinions especially when they use pejoratives like ignorant, moron and illiterate (yes, I have read your blog). Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are omniscient. I expect that you will feel the need to respond to this and if you do I will read it. But that will be the end of this futile exercise.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Kia. I guess I may be the odd man out here, but it is ok , I have been most of my life. I blog for the same reason I sing when no one listens. I sing in the shower, I sing in the bedroom folding clothes, I sing to my cats, I blog during my day on things that interest me… because it is bubbling up in me. It wants to come forth and just needs my fingers to touch the keys to make it happen. I do not feel my little made up songs , mostly based on others tunes , are that great or needed, nor do I think my rambling posts on my likes, memes on my feelings, or the pictures of my cats are so life changing… they just needed to be expressed and put out there. I do think I have some views and feelings I am willing to push and fight for, and my blog gives me the chance to do so. Also why then respond to others blogs? Well to either say I support their ideas, or to try to learn more ( such as vegetarianism or vegan stuff ) or in some minor cases to disagree. IF I do disagree it is not to be aggressive and try to pretend to be authoritarian, but to simply say, ok, you feel this way but I feel the other and this is why. Sadly most of the time it doesn’t work out the way I plan when people disagree. It ends up not about the idea, but seeming personal. This election cost me, it seems, the budding friendship of a blogger I had liked reading and commenting on what he posted. I still read but won’t comment as he got so angry and upset. You and I have had many talks, supportive and even disagreeing but we never let the idea of the topic come before the idea of respecting the person. I hope we did not at least. For me if I find I am angry it is not the time to comment. It maybe the time to blog, but never comment.

    I do not seek out the blogs with differentiating views normally. I have so many blogs and sites I love going to I can’t even get to all of them. Wally once asked me why if I disagreed with him I came to his blog and I reassured him without any malice not to worry I wouldn’t be back, it simply was not anything interesting to me. I come to your blog because it is interesting to me, and I learn stuff here. Again we don’t always agree but we disagree respectfully. I have no clue as to if you come to mine, that is not the way I choose what blogs to go to. To me the internet , the web , is like a huge library with places of favorite books, favorite authors, new ones and new ideas and it is always wonderful and grand. As with any such large place there are dark corners and some people hanging around that are not so kind or nice, in some cases downright scary. But for me there are so many new unexplored ideas, grand people to get to know, wonderful things to see and share… it is like a cornucopia horn of plenty, a halloween candy bucket that never empties… one must limit the amount one eats at a setting but one can come back as often as wished. I hope this sheds light on why I blog, why I go to others blogs, and why I comment on some and not others. Another topic for another day I think are those I simply skip any comment by as I think they are trolls and not worthy of reading. Be well, be happy, be safe. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  4. No, I don’t think identifying myself is really important. I am just someone who was considering starting a blog, looking for tips and advice, and found you.

    Seems to be you’ve written something about specific people for a specific audience. I was simply wondering what the point was.

    Is singling out specific bloggers and making fun of them something you feel is necesary or productive?

    You say you are interseted in honest discussion but nothing I have read on your blog even remotely leads me to believe that is even halfway true.

    What I think is that you belittle others in order to build yourself up, but why?

    Why is it necessary for a grown man to tear others down just becasue their beleifs aren’t the same as yours?

    You call yourself the recovering know it all which is probably the worst bit of false advertising I have ever run accross in all my years. In actuality, you fancy yourself quite the know it all as far as I can tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure you are reading me clearly. I understand if my blog isn’t your cup of tea. Not everyone has the same tastes. I appreciate the candor and hope that there is at least something good you can gain from reading here. Have a great day and a merry christmas

      Like

    • On second thought, after some reflection, I’d like to use your comment as a a prompt for a post. Since you are anon and decline to identify yourself, id like to answer some of your criticisms as a separate post, opening the comments for responses and suggestions. Of course, you yourself will be welcome to participate. No worries, I can tell your ‘someone’ from someone else’s due to the IP address that shows in my dashboard.
      It will take a couple days, been crazy busy at work, but I think it might yield fruitful discussion and opportunities to understand each other better. What say ye?

      Like

      • Why do you charactarize my inquiries as criticisms? Have I been rude to you in any way?

        No apologies necessary for your blog not being my cup of tea, to each his own. Frankly though, I’m not sure whose cup of tea it would be, it pretty much sucks all around.

        Call that a criticism if you will, I don’t care.

        Maybe you would consider posting something useful, maybe how you came to despise your former faith, that might make for an interesting read.

        Like

    • I am sorry Anonymous I do not know if you are being deliberately insulting or just not understanding what you read. I have to take issue with this comment in the interest of fair discussion. Your statement about KIA “What I think is that you belittle others in order to build yourself up, but why? Why is it necessary for a grown man to tear others down just because their beliefs aren’t the same as yours?” is totally false. I have been reading this blog for more than a year now. KIA and I do not always agree, we are worlds apart on some issues. However we have always had honest and meaningful discussions. There were even a few times I think we got frustrated with each other. This is the point you need to understand. At no point did KIA belittle or ridicule or try to tear me down. In fact I have never seen such actions on this blog. So your comment is not only disingenuous but it is out right slander. It is a lie. You do not even provide what you think maybe examples of this behavior. Well I know KIA doesn’t need me to defend him , but I felt your comment deserved a response, a rebuttal as I feel it is totally out of reality. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thx scottie. I really appreciate the kind words and the compliments. I have also appreciated getting to know you and the others that previously would have been off limits to me as a Christian.
        The thing is, someone… or anonymous… or who ever he/she happens to be, is the prime example of the point of this post. Obviously they are Christian, probably very offended that anyone would dare question let alone leave the Faith. Rather than be open and honest… and civil… they throw monkey poo in an attempt to silence, at least for thier own hearing, the voices they don’t want to hear.
        I do hope that ‘someone’ chooses to participate in the future, but for now, it seems the they have made the choice to ‘curse the darkness’ that they perceive rather than search for possible sources of light outside of their cocoon.
        The someones and the Wallys and the Patricks are the ones I am most trying to reach, even if for now they would rather tantrum than talk

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you Scottie, you and KIA disagree on things.

        Has KIA ever singled qutoes of yours out and made a blog post about them to highlight the disagreement for all of his readers? Or is this treatment he reserves for a select few?

        Better yet. Are the subjects of his scron solely religious folk?

        Be hounest Scottie. Does KIA seem to be gunning for well meaning people simply because of their faith?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well meaning people I understand and seem to be able to dialogue with me with relative ease. This post and some others are more about those who think they mean well, but really are just mean.
          You have to ask yourself, Which are you ‘someone’?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Hello whoever. You are so wrong on this, it shows you have an ax to grind here. KIA and I have differed quite heatedly on politics. On the merits of people running, and on our view of what happened this election. That seems to me to be pretty far off the mark of singling out religious people and arguments. One thing I would caution, don’t take the reason for reaching out on a blog as a personal insult. My blog is very different than KIA’s, and I don’t post the stuff I do to insult, I do it to spread my opinion. To maybe jog others to see my view or challenge thiers. I would say KIA does the same on his blog for things that are important to him. I do take exception to your statement “Does KIA seem to be gunning for well meaning people simply because of their faith?”…. who ever said all people of faith are well meaning. I have found some, normally those who go on attack on others blogs due to a feeling of being religiously offended are far from well meaning. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

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    i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get
    a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
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    Like

  6. @consoledreader:
    I’m sorry to be so late in responding to your latest. I’m old and frequently ill, and so staying up all night to correct someone who’s wrong on the internet doesn’t carry the same excitement for me it used to. I’ll say what I probably should have to begin with, and then you’ll have whatever last word you feel justifies your caviling about othering.

    The religious are first and foremost, the quintissential “otherers”. They practice in both word and deed, doctrine that separates them from sinners. It’s not my imagination. Just ask them and they will parrot the scriptures at you. A quick read of Wally’s blog comments will demonstrate this quite well. KIA could point out his favorite examples, I’m sure. So to suggest I’m making unsupported generalizations about them in order to “other” them, is at best a stretch, and probably more likely smug virtue signalling on your part. You demonstrated this with your casual dismissal of

    “My remark about “Wally and his ilk” could be considered a type of Othering at
    the level of language. It mostly was just poorly chosen words, which reinforces
    the point that it’s very easy to slip into in-group/out-group distinctions and to
    Other people unintentionally.”

    Yes when it’s social justice, it’s ok to point out problems in someone else’s speech, but when you do it, it’s an unfortunate accident by the well meaning. Too bad I had to force you into that tepid admission. Must have been painful, eh?

    Finally, if I thought KIA’s question was invalid, I would have not commented at all. It was worth the discussion, the fact that it didn’t happen at Wally’s is telling, don’t you think?

    Now it’s time for me to be about the important business of trying to remember if I took my medication today. Have a wonderful day, KIA readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there. I agree. It is very telling that the discussion of the question could not happen at Wally’s. And that he didn’t bother entering the discussion here. Thx again for reading and participating.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I missed this response. It didn’t ping since you replied down thread.

      A quick read of Wally’s blog comments will demonstrate this quite well.

      I never claimed Wally doesn’t Other people, just that it’s ironic that your post accusing him of it was mostly an example of you engaging in the very behavior you’re in the process of criticizing. In other words, yes, I find behavior personally distasteful, but I find your initial response to be not much better. The other point is that actual evidence-based disagreement doesn’t require said Othering. A person can disagree with someone by directly challenging their points as opposed to making broad statements and passive-aggressive comments such as:

      “so staying up all night to correct someone who’s wrong on the internet doesn’t carry the same excitement for me it used to. I’ll say what I probably should have to begin with, and then you’ll have whatever last word you feel justifies your caviling about othering.”

      Liked by 1 person

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