Asking clarification regarding moderation

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
The real question is whether the factuality of a mythological narrative that may be part of someone's religion (and that's effectively all of them) can be questioned. If you talk about a global flood referenced in a mythological narrative, am I allowed to point out that according to archaeologists and geologists, that didn't actually happen?
Depends on how you say it.

As noted, I’m a practicing Roman Catholic. Generally, my brand of christianity doesn’t advocate biblical literalism. So I have no problem discussing parts of the Bible as being mere fables, told to make a theological or ethical point.

Heck, I even took classes in my college’s Religion department that treated all faith traditions as equal, and a course in the English department that taught the Bible as a literary work, and how authors have used its themes in their own work.

But, it should be noted, that some people do.

So, pointing out that flood narratives are common to a number of faith traditions is cool. Mentioning that there’s no scientific evidence to support any of them is OK. If someone posts a link that purports to show evidence of an antediluvian flood, you’re on safe ground if you can refute it without getting personal or otherwise uncivil.

But if you start spinning off with insults to the poster or adherents of the faith, calling a faith tradition “fraudulent”, using popular internet put-downs for the faith being discussed? THAT will get you unwanted attention.

However, as Umbran noted, before doing ANY of that, ask yourself why you’d need to. If we’re talking about. RPG settings, what the point of noting the absence of evidence for an antediluvian flood? If someone posts a link claiming proof, what’s safer- refuting it or reporting it for drifting into the religious weeds?
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Show me the moderated comments about people talking about Zeus' problematic behavior towards mortal women and wondering how that will be/will not be addressed in a given work vs the moderated comment in the source thread wondering about the infanticide, rape, slavery etc that's present in the Bible.
I think talking about those topics in the Bible is perfectly fine in the context of discussing similar events in other religions’ texts.

In discussing RPGsettings, it’s a bit more problematic. Most- but not all- of the game supplements I’ve read dealing with Greek, Norse, and other ancient faiths tend NOT to include the grittier stuff, mentioning it only when it can’t be glossed over, such as when a particular major entity was the product of some illicit union or some such. Remember, the minotaur of D&D resembles the classic greek one only in appearance and some abilities- the former is a race, the latter is a unique being born of a rather NSFW story,

So it would be a bit of a surprise if those passages of the Bible got statted out or made into an adventure path.
 

I think talking about those topics in the Bible is perfectly fine in the context of discussing similar events in other religions’ texts.

In discussing RPGsettings, it’s a bit more problematic. Most- but not all- of the game supplements I’ve read dealing with Greek, Norse, and other ancient faiths tend NOT to include the grittier stuff, mentioning it only when it can’t be glossed over, such as when a particular major entity was the product of some illicit union or some such. Remember, the minotaur of D&D resembles the classic greek one only in appearance and some abilities- the former is a race, the latter is a unique being born of a rather NSFW story,

So it would be a bit of a surprise if those passages of the Bible got statted out or made into an adventure path.
IIRC Odyssey of Dragonlords actually had some a bit nasty stuff that was in line with the source material but necessarily not with the modern sensibilities. I think there was discussion about that. And of course even old novels from the last century will have stuff we might now find questionable, and we constantly talk about how to deal with adapting concepts from them (Lovecraft, Howard, Tolkien etc.) And yeah, perhaps they handle it perfectly, perhaps they omit all the problematic stuff; we don't know yet. But the question really is why a poster was infracted for bringing the topic up in this case? To me it sends a pretty strong message that in this instance we cannot discuss that and that means that there is a clear double standard.
 
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eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
But the question really is why a poster was infracted for bringing the topic up in this case? To me it sends a pretty strong message that in this instance we cannot discuss that and that means that there is a clear double standard.
That's the issue that isn't really being meaningfully engaged with. Likely because the answer isn't a good one. The loud silence on this point reads to me as "Yes, it's a double standard, we can't say that it's not, but for the sake of not dealing with hurt feelings and reports and generating a bunch of kerfuffle it will stand". Which, is a position I could at least accept, I just wish somebody would actually say that.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
But the question really is why a poster was infracted for bringing the topic up in this case? To me it sends a pretty strong message that in this instance we cannot discuss that and that means that there is a clear double standard.

That's the issue that isn't really being meaningfully engaged with. Likely because the answer isn't a good one. The loud silence on this point reads to me as "Yes, it's a double standard, we can't say that it's not, but for the sake of not dealing with hurt feelings and reports and generating a bunch of kerfuffle it will stand". Which, is a position I could at least accept, I just wish somebody would actually say that.

In #71 a mod says "depends on how you say it" and the mod in #70 talks about tone and keeping it civil.

I think #45 (the one flagged) and #47 in the original thread came off as being at least there for as much anti-religious snark as for being a serious question about RPGing. And the forum rules seem to make it clear that religious and political snark in the game threads are subject to getting modded. Alternate ways to have them seem less snarky and still bring it up have been mentioned upthread.

That everything that might be moddable isn't always called out seems to happen sometimes because the mods often pick one thing to call out in a thread as representative. That some things are modded and others aren't seems to happen sometimes because one is reported and another isn't.
 
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p_johnston

Adventurer
So I lurk on these forums more than I post but I will say the moderation is typically on point. Sometimes it's a little more heavy handed then I would personally like, sometimes things that I would expect to get moderated pass without comment. Overall though it's usually pretty good. For the purposes of this discussion I do think it really comes down to the Mods are humans. They are people taking time out of their day to try and keep this forums pleasant using their best judgment at the time.

That being said I do think that the people saying there is a double standard between posts moderated because they are talking about Christianity and similar posts about norse/greek religions remaining on moderated have a point. I highly doubt either of the posts mentioned would have been touched by a mod if they were talking about a very minor religion.

In the case of the thread being mentioned I suspect the moderated post's were moderated because it is very easy to see how such posts could cause offense and derail the discussion into a toxic place for many of the people who are participating. Because of Christianity dominate place in society it's very easy for even non religious people to see that. In the case of less popular religions it can be easier to overlook how similar posts could be hurtful/problematic. I would also like to believe that if a forum goer who sincerely believed in a less popular religion were to make it known that similar posts were hurtful to them in the same way that the Mod team would then step in after being made aware of the issue.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
So I lurk on these forums more than I post but I will say the moderation is typically on point. Sometimes it's a little more heavy handed then I would personally like, sometimes things that I would expect to get moderated pass without comment. Overall though it's usually pretty good. For the purposes of this discussion I do think it really comes down to the Mods are humans. They are people taking time out of their day to try and keep this forums pleasant using their best judgment at the time.

That being said I do think that the people saying there is a double standard between posts moderated because they are talking about Christianity and similar posts about norse/greek religions remaining on moderated have a point. I highly doubt either of the posts mentioned would have been touched by a mod if they were talking about a very minor religion.

In the case of the thread being mentioned I suspect the moderated post's were moderated because it is very easy to see how such posts could cause offense and derail the discussion into a toxic place for many of the people who are participating. Because of Christianity dominate place in society it's very easy for even non religious people to see that. In the case of less popular religions it can be easier to overlook how similar posts could be hurtful/problematic. I would also like to believe that if a forum goer who sincerely believed in a less popular religion were to make it known that similar posts were hurtful to them in the same way that the Mod team would then step in after being made aware of the issue.
I’m also fairly certain the frequency something is being reported can sway mods to take action. Which in the case of something perceived as snarky toward a religion could tend to lead to mods taking more action for snarky posts toward a major religion than toward a lesser one. But the practical nature of taking into consideration the number of reports when making a decision is an important consideration as it can help a mod eliminate their personal biases even if it doesn’t lead to perfectly fair outcomes in all situations.

Otherwise I 100% agree.
 

Depends on how you say it.

As noted, I’m a practicing Roman Catholic. Generally, my brand of christianity doesn’t advocate biblical literalism. So I have no problem discussing parts of the Bible as being mere fables, told to make a theological or ethical point.

Heck, I even took classes in my college’s Religion department that treated all faith traditions as equal, and a course in the English department that taught the Bible as a literary work, and how authors have used its themes in their own work.

But, it should be noted, that some people do.

So, pointing out that flood narratives are common to a number of faith traditions is cool. Mentioning that there’s no scientific evidence to support any of them is OK. If someone posts a link that purports to show evidence of an antediluvian flood, you’re on safe ground if you can refute it without getting personal or otherwise uncivil.

But if you start spinning off with insults to the poster or adherents of the faith, calling a faith tradition “fraudulent”, using popular internet put-downs for the faith being discussed? THAT will get you unwanted attention.

However, as Umbran noted, before doing ANY of that, ask yourself why you’d need to. If we’re talking about. RPG settings, what the point of noting the absence of evidence for an antediluvian flood? If someone posts a link claiming proof, what’s safer- refuting it or reporting it for drifting into the religious weeds?

I haven't followed the part of the conversation there where it veered into this territory. My view on this is, so long as people aren't being insulting, if we are permitted to say something like we believe Jesus is God, then people who don't believe that should also be able to express their view that they regard him as a myth or a historical figure. It feels uneven for me to be able to talk about my religious beliefs, but for people who don't believe to have to bite their tongue if I say something they think isn't real or true.

I am a little unclear on the forum policy regarding discussion about religion. I did like seeing a thread on a religiously themed game, and I saw a lot of great posts adding knowledge to the discussion (often from a variety of religious and non-religious viewpoints which I saw as a positive). I think that can be done without people insulting one another. If someone says they think the resurrection is a myth for instance, I am fine with that. I've had a number of beliefs on this over the course of my life (ranging from a very literal view, to a skeptical view, and back into a view of belief). I don't think a poster has to share that view. But if people want to debate the point, and other issues associated with it, there is probably a better platform or venue for that. Even the insulting stuff doesn't really bother me personally (I can even find it amusing if the humor behind it is inventive). But I think on a forum like this one, that kind of fiery exchange is something that is pretty discouraged. So keeping the thread on the topic, allowing for people to express their real views, without getting into that territory, seems the best way to go about it (so that no one is posting with a hand tied behind their back, but we are still able to have this interesting RPG topic)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
My view on this is, so long as people aren't being insulting, if we are permitted to say something like we believe Jesus is God, then people who don't believe that should also be able to express their view that they regard him as a myth or a historical figure. It feels uneven for me to be able to talk about my religious beliefs, but for people who don't believe to have to bite their tongue if I say something they think isn't real or true.
Again, it depends on context.

If you just started a thread claiming ”Jesus is God!” unrelated to an RPG product or similar topic that typically appears on this site*, it would get closed ASAP and might earn you a warning point.

Likewise, someone could see that claim in a thread and say, “I (respectfully/absolutely) disagree.” without getting personal or insulting. If they couldn’t keep it civil, they’d risk getting modded.

But situations like that are why there’s a general ban on religion as a topic. Unless it related to gaming, it’s generally prohibited. (Or at least, closely monitored.)





* a thread in the off topic forum about your love of the band Jesus Jones or an elite athlete whose name is Jesus would be permitted, for instance.
 

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