A curated thread?

As I was sitting here with a drink in my hand, some nice music in the background, surfing the internets, and philosophizing over life, the universe, and everything (i.e. random shit), the thought struck me. Would a curated thread containing a digest of a number of often encountered topics be a good idea? In it, one could collect common theist arguments, together with refutations and counter evidence, and then it could be referred to whenever necessary, and be used as a resource. For example refutations of common “god proofs”, etc. Discussions should be done in a separate thread, and the entries for each topic should be updated whenever a better argument or a better version is suggested. Any thoughts?

I think that’s a very good idea in principle. Who would do the work?

Such would be very long so would need to be properly indexed to allow easy access. Unless I’ve misunderstood the word ‘curated’. Had never heard it before and had to look it up.

Didn’t you recently say English is your second language? If so, I think your command of the language is up there with Joseph Conrad, who was Polish.

I don’t know, I just came up with the idea :slight_smile: Besides, I don’t know what the technical limitations of the forum software are.

However, the writing could be done by anyone, really. Anyone could write something about a topic they’re interested in. Or just lift content from particularly well-argued points on the forum (the best of the best), and edit it to fit the format. For example, this post about abiogenesis could probably be used more or less as it is. Not all posts need to be this comprehensive, a commented list of other resources with more information could also be very useful.

There are several formats that could be used. Perhaps the most flexible would be – if possible – to create a special resource subforum where each thread is one subject. Then the first posting is the main contents, and the rest of the thread can be dedicated to discussions about the contents and for internal peer-review. And then the first posting is updated as new information comes in, or with better formulations. Where active forum members start threads, they could do the updating. If they stop visiting the forum, a moderator or admin would have to do updates on request. In any case, I think a decentralised system would be the way to go. To avoid swamping the subforum with posts, moderators should delete threads not conforming to the format.


Well, thank you. Luckily, my accent does not show in writing :rofl:

I thought something like that might look good on the home page.

  1. An all powerful creator god. (Click Here)
  2. A God beyond time and space. (Click Here)
  3. A Deist God (Click Here)
  4. The Bible as the unchanging word of God (Click Here)

The issue is that the apologists think they have answers to debunk the hard evidence thwarting their claims. So even if they managed to get in there and read any of it, their little minds would just be doing the yabut, yaby, yabut thing and they would be doing it free of the confrontations they would get in the debate room.

For Atheists who visit the site… There is the free downloadable book.

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Yes, but no. Forum postings would be searchable from search engines, so well-argued resource postings could have an impact outside the forum as well. PDF files do not lend themselves too well for giving hits in searches.

Edit: case in point: I used to frequent a now-defunct forum that drew in traffic from all over because postings ended up ranking quite high on google searches.

So you have the rather attractive Norwegian accent? Well, I have broad ‘general’ Australian accent, which in conscience I’m unable to claim is ‘pleasant’. I’ve always thought of it as “grating”.

Have been looking for a Youtube video on Norwegian accents. So far the most interesting thing is the claim that Norwegian began as Danish in the eighteenth century .

How close is the accent of this girl to a general Norwegian accent? Is there such a thing? One young bloke said TV and radio people use an Eastern accent. I’ve learned there are lots of Norwegian dialects, so I gather accents may vary quite a bit. Or not.

I concede. I’m imagining something like a Wiki of Atheist replies to theists. I certainly spend a lot of time on the internet.

Now there’s a thought. If done as a project, could it not be also set up as one or more Wikipedia entries?

That’s written Norwegian. Back then, Norway was under the Danish Crown, and written Danish was the administrative language. But after independence, it was modified to better suit spoken Norwegian. The spoken Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish languages have been diverging from a common language in the middle ages, but are still close enough that they are mutually intelligible. Some linguists would even say they are dialects of Scandinavian.

She has a fairly typical accent.

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Yes, that is one possible approach that could be useful.

We Admins have been discussing this proposition and desire to see it become a reality.

How to make it work?

How to decide what is appropriate?

What form of archive?

Who will administer this database?


What are the realistic options? A separate subforum category? A wiki? What’s technically possible? In any case, a separate entry for each topic, or a separate discussion thread seems to me the most appropriate.


  • Nominiations from individual users when they spot something good that can either be used as is, or with modifications
  • Work from volunteers, like short discussions, articles, lists of links and resources.
  • Discussion can function as a sort of peer review. Discussions should be able to allow or reject the entry, or to suggest changes.

I guess the path of least resistance would be a subforum category that either has certain restrictions in place (don’t know what’s technically possible), and/or that is aggressively moderated to delete unwanted threads. This is good if the number of topics isn’t too big. For big amounts of entries, a wiki would be better, but I suggest trying the thread based method first, to test out the interest and the concept. In any case, since markdown is used, it should be possible to migrate to other platforms if necessary.

If it is thread based, the forum itself will take care of it. Threadstarters would be able to edit the first post in each thread whenever necessary. I’ve seen this done on other forums. Other than that, I suspect moderators and admins would also be allowed to make changes? Again, I don’t know what’s technically possible with the forum software.

My only suggestion is to call the Category “AA” to get spiritual addicts the help they need…

Argument Archive

We could start it with Cog’s “prayer”…

Thanks @Get_off_my_lawn for the feedback.

Please lets not call it a prayer. How about a positive affirmation.

The Atheist’s Positive Affirmation
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… Can you just hear all the theists claiming that it belongs to them and that the atheists stole it from them? Ignorant theists…

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I know I have some work to do. Presently I am researching Wiki, which to me is a starting point. But I recognize my personal shortcomings, and any input from fellow forum members would be appreciated.

I also respect the scientific method, of peer review. Somehow we need to weed out the nonsense and redundant crap.

Before you moderators start deciding on a technical solution, let’s analyze it better first. My view is the following:

  • it has to be simple to use, otherwise users won’t use it.
  • it has to be simple to set up and maintain, otherwise it will not be maintained.
  • a simple, adequate solution is probably better than a technically superb, but complex solution
  • keep in mind the users: it has to be community driven
  • the users know how to use the forum software, while editing using a wiki can be confusing for the non-technical person

Of wiki solutions come in all shapes and sizes, from MediaWiki which is the fullblown software of Wikipedia (probably too big and complex for this) to, say, DocuWiki which is smaller and simpler, but has some limitations. The Wikipedia list of wiki software can be a place to start.

I think a wiki solution can be the way to go if the volume turns out to be big. But if you only have a handful of articles it is overkill, and using the already existing forum solutions would be better. Judging by the traffic and the amount of users on this forum, I’d say start with a simple, but adequate, solution, and proceed to a bigger one if/when necessary.

Let’s also look at how it will be used. When a user (say, a novice user) clicks around on the forum, then the forum software and the wiki part would be viewed as two different things. I think it is imperative not to confuse users and have an integrated user space. A wiki can probably be useful for atheistrepublic.com as a whole (say as wiki.atheistrepublic.com), but that’s a much wider scope and thus entries should also reflect this. But then it will not really be driven by forum users and the needs of the forum.

In conclusion, I’d recommend starting with what we already have, namely the forum. Create a couple of test threads and try it out to gain experience before landing on a potentially too complex solution.

@Get_off_my_lawn Thank you very much for the input. I am definitely in over my head when it comes to such matters, and I greatly appreciate this input.

I appreciate the input…
Just saying it back, to make sure “I got” it…

*category (similar to Debate, Hub, etc)
*threads (titled to subject eg. “Fine tuning”)
*locked except for mod editing purpose
*members could send “copy paste” argument finds to the mods/admin (or a sub group of volunteers - MY preference) to edit or keep argument info clear/concise etc
*admin/mod can copy-paste to the thread (and links to original threads could be included)

Yeah, pretty much. But the threads should imho be enabled for discussion (for internal review and suggestions for improvement). Makes threshold for feedback be lower.

We are going to go with the test thread in this Category (it can be moved into a created Category later). We should start with one “practice” interesting topic to curate/archive.

Any idea what specific topic of atheist arguments everyone would like to gather?