I’ve just read about NoGodTube on the Friendly Atheist.  Apparently this is a response to the repeated complaints of theists and suspension of atheist’s YouTube accounts.  The beauty of YouTube is that you can reach the whole world with your opinions.  I understand the need to police these views and maintain certain standards but I would think that discussion would be something that YouTube would want to promote.

While it is a shame that some people seem to want to silence opposing views I find it more of a shame that the opposing views feel it necessary to retreat.  I don’t feel that it aids the debate any more than idiotic flaming or attempts to ban contributors. 

With NoGodTube, we can continue to debate, but on our terms. Theists will be able to present their arguments based on reason, but if they disagree with our responses, they won’t be able to get us banned or flame us.

I disagree that you can set the terms of a debate and have an open and honest discussion in a public forum.  In a structured debate this is fine but YouTube offers a chance to have your say about anything and invites response from everyone.  Removing yourself from that whether to GodTube (now Tangle) or NoGodTube is to cut yourself off from the marketplace of ideas.

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there’s no place for it in the endeavor of science. We do not know beforehand where fundamental insights will arise from about our mysterious and lovely solar system. The history of our study of our solar system shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources.

— Carl Sagan


Filed under Atheist, Bad things happen

4 responses to “NoGodTube

  1. While the thought of repression of an individual’s rights to participate in a free and just society or an ‘open’ forum is abhorrent to me i believe a certain level of responsibility should be placed upon the contributors and those who demonstrate they are unwilling to abide by agreed basic regulations do need to be denied or given limited access – i am thinking specifically of spammers, but also those who break community ‘standards’ over things like paedophilia, pornography and glorifying or encouragement of violent or illegal activity (crime).

    i’m not entirely sure how it might be permissible to publish (on youTube, for example) a boxing match in which two opponents beat the hell out of each other, while at the same time it would not be be permitted to publish a video of two schoolkids bashing each other behind the bikesheds after school??

    Fortunately the decision is not mine to make.

    It is a sad reality, especially in today’s multicultural world where people from many backgrounds are as able to participate in ‘open’ discussion as everyone else, that different ideas/practices DO offend some personally held beliefs that may or may not be in agreement with our own personally held ones.

    These can be SO strongly held by some in our society that it causes them extreme distress to be witness to those things that make mockery of all they believe in. Where do their freedoms of belief begin or end on youTube?

    To do so (witnessing something that personally offends a certain group) basically amounts to mental cruelty or abuse.

    At one extreme end of this we have those people who are physically and mentally deranged in their belief “(i am Jesus and the voices told me i should kill the disbelievers”) and who perform extreme acts which may or may not lead them to lash out against the society that they see is abusing them and their belief and who hopefully sooner rather than later, for the common good, are locked away and ‘treated’ in a humane fashion.

    There is then a spectrum of belief down (up?) from there to the other extreme and those people who hold that no belief or promotion of any activity whatsoever should be repressed.

    A healthy society has to find an acceptable ‘medium’ that the majority of individuals can live with.

    We are seeing what can happen when this is not done very successfully in America at the moment where various ‘nutters’ who can no longer accept society’s ‘Norms’ (or a ‘minor’ variation to them) are taking matters and their guns into their own hands and causing themselves and others the Ultimate form of censorship. ( 6 cases and over 30 dead in the last three weeks.) 😦

    I think there is no harm if a group wishes to establish their own version of a popular site and provide a new set of ‘regulations’. If it would offend some groups to witness things on such a site then don’t visit it – simple.

    NB: this ‘rule’ could not be applied where there is no ‘alternative’ and would require a group to establish their own site where they could happily ‘ban’ whomsover they wished for them to remain unoffended.

    i do believe their has to be sensitivity to the rights of others within mutually agreed conditions in all cases.

    This requires a greater determinant of what is ‘acceptable’ than what can be scientifically ‘proven’, since even Atheists must recognise that science – even the latest current ‘discoveries’ – is able to be shown to be wrong as more evidence is made aware to us.

    Faith is every bit as valid to those who hold it as a theory is to a scientist who proposes it.

    ( i did NOT just say that ALL elements of personal faith are 100% accurate or true, even if a person (group) believes them to be).


  2. Love, I agree that certain codes of behaviour should be enforced but the theists in this case were abusing the complaints process to restrict the freedom of expression of non-theists. This has driven unbelievers to set up elsewhere which I hate.

    Faith is every bit as valid to those who hold it as a theory is to a scientist who proposes it.

    I agree but what we have here is a situation where a majority view has been used to silence a minority view. The fact that the majority view is faith based is really of secondary concern. If a racially diverse group attempted to suppress holocaust deniers the same rules should apply. If a group attempt to suppress expression of opinions in support of homosexuals the same rules should apply. If the liberal majority attempt to suppress Westboro Baptist Church’s hateful opinions then the same rules should apply.

    Now rather than stand up to this attempted suppression it seem that the NoGodTubers have just retreated. I don’t think this sends a positive message in a pluralist society to the majority. I equate it to a form of voluntary segregation t worse. At best it is a resource to preserve free speech on one topic but I can bet it won’t be seen that way.

  3. Quips

    Love, I love your work. *applauds*

    Frog, unfortunately since I have not witnessed this “flaming” I can’t really comment beyond what LWBUT has already said in than that if the content of a posting is considered insensitive, or more strongly, offensive, then complaints are inevitable. Where those battlelines are to be drawn relies on the common sense of the moderator. So who determines the outcome of the debate? Youtube. House wins.

  4. Bows to Applause – Thank you Quips – you’re too kind 😉

    Hov – ‘I agree but what we have here is a situation where a majority view has been used to silence a minority view. ‘

    Not sure i totally agree with you here..

    The majority (??) seems to have spoken, as we may expect in a democracy, to have some ‘upsetting’ individual opinion removed from the youTube site that a wide cross-section of the community views regularly. I don’t think that amounts to a suppression or silencing of a minority (??) view as would be more the case if the NoGodTube site was made to be shut down completely.

    I am pro-freedom of expression, just not freedom of offending/insulting the ‘majority’ in a democracy. I would also think there should be some form of ‘security’ for minority opinion that does not greatly infringe on the rights of others, be they a majority, or a minority, group. Setting up a counter-site seems to fit this?



    P.S. sory for the length of last monologue! 😉

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