I think I've been listening to SGU for about 7 years or so, and I've always enjoyed it. I'm not really a fan of Dawkin's writings and do not endorse or condemn any of his views. But hearing about this whole NECSS ordeal just makes me think that far too much of this movement is caught up in ideological purity and right-thinking. Maybe it always was. In any case, I'm unsubscribing from the podcast. If we can't have calm discussions and hear from those who we disagree with on political and social issues, this really is not a movement I want any part of. I think I get exposure to enough tiring culture war flareups on other sections of the internet. So long, and I wish the panel and everyone else the best.
I'm sorry to hear that to.
I would however like the add that the community is about more than the conventions, functions and the 'figureheads'. For many its a chance to engage in that part of the world where reason and logic are welcomed (if not always warmly embraced), and where people get to talk about, share and enjoy socialising with others in a way that may not be available in their local community.
I too, like yourself, find it frustrating when we have these little flare ups that may appear to have more to do with social issues rather than purely scientific ones, with "ideological purity" rather than intelligent debate and "right-thinking" rather than exploring ideas. But I also understand that these are real issues and that they affect real people and are views that people are passionate about. It is unsurprising that when people are passionate they offer passionate responses. Of course, these are issues where it's difficult to determine the absolutes that so many of us crave.
It is disappointing to hear that these passionate community members are driving away people who share those values of inquiry, debate and exploration while trying to be inclusive and inviting to all groups. I can understand you feeling that the focus moves from the topics that we have in common, to those which are divisive. But I suppose that is in part the consequence of community - if we only talk about the things that we have in common we have an echo chamber, if we exclude those who want to talk about things that make us uncomfortable we take on a cult like dimension.
I'm sorry to learn that you want to unsubscribe, but I would encourage you to consider what is is you are unsubscribing from and why - if it's that the group no longer holds the values that lead you to join - I think you should voice that, loudly and clearly, maybe it can encourage the debate and discussion that brings the back to the core values that you do appreciate. then again it may be that you think that it's lost cause, or one that's not worth trying to 'save'...
In any event, feel free to hang around here, we have discussion on all manner of topics - I'll see if I can find that "directly down wind fast than the wind" thread....