From SaveTheWorld - a project of The Partnership Machine, Inc. (Sponsor: Family Music Center)
- 1 What information is required to register?
- 2 Why do we have to register with real names and party affiliation?
- 2.1 What gives a signature power?
- 2.2 Can one 'take a stand' anonymously?
- 2.3 Why does the cost of a stand give it power?
- 2.4 What does the Bible say about "taking a stand" anonymously?
- 2.5 Stopping evil has always been dangerous!
- 2.6 This wiki is created for people who want to accomplish A LOT.
- 2.7 A "Multitude of Counsellors" have to know who they are talking to.
- 2.8 Anonymity shields divisiveness
- 2.9 Wikipedia's struggle with anonymous contributors
- 2.10 Wikipedia's Scandalous Anonymous Administrators
- 2.11 Exception: When Anonymous Posts Are Allowed
- 2.12 TOR users welcome
- 3 What does this forum allow that others don't?
- 4 Why we call this SaveTheWorld
What information is required to register?
Your real first and last name
...without a space between them, goes in the top field. Middle name optional. Capitalizing both names is suggested. Should the computer tell you that someone has already registered with the same name, please distinguish your name by adding a middle name or initial, or any symbols. Your real name will be made public when you edit articles. (See "Exception" below.)
...address must be validated before you can edit. That is, you will be sent an email at the address you provide; clicking on that will "validate" that the address is really yours. Your email will not be made public. With your permission for other participants to email you, you will be able to email other participants who have consented to receive "Inmail".
Your political party and state
...with which you are actually registered goes in the lowest field. Abbreviations are suggested: for example, D-IA, R-OR, I-MO for Democrat from Iowa, Republican from Oregon, or Independent from Missouri.
You can get by with U for Unaffiliated, which may be appropriate if you won't be editing articles involving U.S. politics. But if you will be working with such articles, knowing the political party you favor is part of knowing who we are communicating with. Knowing your views will NOT be a basis for banning you. If you will reason honestly you will be welcome no matter how much you disagree with the rest of us! If you will not reason, you will not be welcome no matter how much you agree with the rest of us!
If you can't register to vote because you are a noncitizen, you may abbreviate with "NC". If you are a minor, "Minor" or "Child". If you are an adult citizen who has not registered to vote, please register to vote!
Optional: add a phrase about yourself, such as your political or religious perspective, key interests, or contact info, that you would like to share with readers. This will be made public with your edits.
Why do we have to register with real names and party affiliation?
What gives a signature power?
The signers of the Declaration of Independence thought long and hard before they signed their names. Surely they prayed, "Father, if it be thy will, let me sign anonymously." They understood that even if they escaped British military wrath upon them personally for their signatures, their signatures would start a war which would bring wrath upon them and their countrymen.
Why didn't they sign anonymously? They would have caused a lot less trouble. They probably could have avoided a war. The British probably wouldn't have felt their interests threatened enough to send troops. Surely the British would have realized that men too timid to face the British with words would be too timid to face the British with guns.
Of course, the United States would then have remained subjects of the English king, whom no one elects. We would not today be free.
Can one 'take a stand' anonymously?
Why don't people who circulate petitions today allow you to sign anonymously? A petition that gets 500 signatures probably could get a million, if people could sign anonymously. Why are signatures, and usually some other identifying information, required? Does a signature on a petition accomplish that much more than an "x"? Why do petitions seek as many signatures as possible, as if the more consensus there is behind an idea, of people willing to pay the cost of supporting the idea, the more likely that idea is to prevail over its opposition?
Not that nothing done anonymously can be effective. Voting is effective. But politicians regard a single constituent who articulates an issue as representing the concerns of probably a thousand voters who won't bother to contact him. Actually reasoning with your representatives is really, really, a thousand really's effective.
Sure, taking a stand on anything that matters puts a barrier between you and people who are wrong. It puts a different but equally grievous barrier between you and people who are afraid to take a stand. Unfortunately those people will include some of your friends, your customers, and your family.
The one compensation is that even when people you love will talk less with you when they learn about the real you, at least when they do talk, it will more likely be about something that matters.
Why does the cost of a stand give it power?
Of course, taking a public stand against evil is dangerous, the more powerful the evil is, and the more effective the stand is.
Why did Paul's statement that 500 people saw the risen Jesus, many of whom were still alive, (1 Corinthians 15:6) combined with the acceptance of Paul's letters as scripture at the time, (2 Peter 3:16), prove that Jesus really did rise from the dead? Because that was probably the most testable - and most important - thing Paul ever said, so had there been no witnesses that anyone had ever heard of, Paul's writing could not have been accepted as scripture. And the fact that people knew of many people who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus shows that they were vocal about it, and the fact that they were vocal about it proves it happened, because no one is vocal about something he knows is not true that he is likely to be tortured to death for saying.
That is, it is the very cost of saying what is true, that persuades people that at least you believe it is true. And worth saying. There are plenty of crazy things that many people believe, where the greatest cost of saying them is people thinking you are crazy. But when you shine Light on Darkness that costs you, AND your Light includes evidence and reasoning which no one can refute without lying about you, honest minds will notice, search past the lies told about you, and be persuaded.
What does the Bible say about "taking a stand" anonymously?
Hebrews 11 is called "The Hall of Faith" because it is an overview of Old Testament Bible heroes whose faith is an example for us today. They are honored for good actions they took at great risk to themselves. Stopping evil required it.
"Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews", John 3:1, "came to Jesus by night", anonymously. That was better than not coming to Jesus at all. But look what he knew, that he kept to himself rather than support Jesus publicly: "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." Verse 2. What must Jesus have thought of Nicodemus keeping a confession like that to himself, leaving not one Pharisee to ever say a kind word about Him? Might this apply: Mark 8:38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
John 7:50-53 says that by Nicodemus remaining in power, only anonymously having confessed to Jesus, he was able to break up a meeting of the Pharisees, not by admitting his support for Jesus directly, but by defending due process of law. But had Nicodemus publicly stood for what he knew, when he knew it, how might history have been different? Perhaps Jerusalem could have escaped its utter destruction in 30+ years later.
Hebrew midwives lied to Pharaoh about why they weren't murdering all the baby boys as Pharaoh had commanded. Exodus 1. In other words, they delivered babies without murdering them, anonymously. Remaining anonymous, and even lying to thugs, when that is the only way to save lives, has Bible precedent.
The Pilgrims followed that precedent before they crossed the Atlantic to Plimoth Plantation. From their base in Holland, they printed books challenging the Church of England and smuggled them into England. Bible smugglers likewise accept the great personal danger of taking the Word of God where Darkness is determined to stamp it out. In those situations,
Perhaps the controlling question should be "Which way will enable me to do the most good? Can we accomplish more against evil, in this situation, from the shadows?" rather than "Which way will be the least costly?"
Stopping evil has always been dangerous!
The possibility of being truly anonymous, with not even one other person knowing who you are as you criticize authority, only seems to have existed, out of all human history, for the past decade or so through anonymous posts on the internet. Before that, fliers about the evils of Hitler and Stalin were anonymously printed and thrown off German and Russian roofs, but a few people had to conspire together. The Pilgrims printed theological challenges to the Church of England from their base in Holland and smuggled them into England, but that required many conspirators.
Anonymity only seems to exist, today; your friends and family trying to reason with you may not know who you are when you write to them, but government, which we ought to be a lot more concerned about, knows.
This wiki is created for people who want to accomplish A LOT.
The goal of this wiki is to be the online counterpart of the "multitude of counsellors" through which Proverbs says great goals will be reached. Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. A "multitude of counsellors" is the way 1 Corinthians 14 describes the ideal church service. Not that everyone has to be a Christian, or to agree with anyone about anything, to participate, any more now than then - see v. 24 which shows that unbelievers joined the conversation.
This is for people determined to accomplish a lot. By working hard, thinking deep, speaking bold, and with so much love for others that we are willing to give up a lot to help them.
The goal of this wiki is not just talk for its own sake. This was not created to showcase abstract opinions. The goal is to bring down evil. To shine Light able to flood the Darkness. This requires action. Whatever light this forum purifies must be carried outside this forum into the Darkness. The dangerous Darkness which hates the Light, as John 3:19-20 explains, and will try very hard to hurt people who shine it.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
We are at war with evil. Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The goal of this wiki is to facilitate the Multitude of Counsellors necessary to win a war.
Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
For specific opportunities that open up to a Multitude of Counsellors whose names are known, see Offer.
A "Multitude of Counsellors" have to know who they are talking to.
Our ability to reason with each other depends on our ability to understand each other. Our ability to understand each other depends on our knowledge of each other. As we try to persuade each other, we draw upon all we know about where the other person "is coming from", or his worldview, so we can avoid wasting time proving what he already knows, and focus on where the misunderstanding is.
We talk differently to a child than to an adult; to a pastor than a bartender; if our subject is immigration we talk differently to a politician than to a refugee; if our subject is abortion we talk differently to an abortionist than to a teenage mom.
Our ability to accomplish things together relies on knowing each other's areas of interest and of ability. If I know you are an economist, I might shift from talking to you about another issue to asking you about the economic impact of abortion or of immigration.
Our ability to reason with each other is hampered by not knowing who we are talking to! Whether man or woman, citizen or communist spy, someone who is honest or someone whose description of himself, his credentials, experiences, beliefs, and arguments are toys to confuse us for his amusement.
Our goal is agreement among real people so that we may work together: not merely agreeing what corrections ought to be made in the world and how they should be made, which would be heroic enough, but making them. Consensus between anonymous faceless contributors is meaningless, to the extent action is the goal; we might waste precious time establishing consensus on some urgent matter in our state, not knowing we have been reasoning with someone from another country. We want to communicate with people in other countries! We want to learn, and if possible, help. But how can we without knowing where anyone is from?
Anonymity shields divisiveness
Another reason anonymity will defeat our purpose is that this discussion desperately needs decency, clean language, and respect – if not for each other’s views, at least for each other as human beings made in the Image of God whom God loves even if we can’t figure out why.
In an anonymous blog you can spew heartless nonsense from the shadows of anonymity so that your friends, family, and coworkers will never learn this side of you and will continue to think you are normal. What you say here, you say publicly, with your real name.
The “comments” sections of internet articles are dominated by anonymous “trolls” to whom relationship skills are The Enemy. They are divisive, profane, insulting, off the subject of the article, and they lie, misrepresenting even their own positions. They appear to be driven to shock and offend rather than to elucidate. They wear rudeness like a badge of courage.
Newspapers don’t publish anonymous letters to the editor. Before the internet, it was very difficult for people who wanted to publish their views anonymously to find an outlet. People with opinions were expected to take responsibility for them. Even when that may be a little bit costly. Names with opinions make them way more credible. One’s expertise or personal knowledge of a subject can be established only with a name. Your name on your positions also tells readers how committed you are to your positions. They see that you take them seriously, which makes them take you more seriously.
You can’t “take a stand” anonymously. People pay more attention to people who “take a stand” than to people who hide from accountability.
Wikipedia's struggle with anonymous contributors
Wikipedia allows anonymous edits, which creates huge problems. Edits aren’t entirely anonymous; the numerical “IP address” of the web host used by the contributor is recorded, which is about as informative as knowing someone’s voter registration number but not their name. But in 2007 a tool was developed to match people with IP addresses, and Wikipedia found out that the groups making anonymous edits favorable to themselves included the CIA, the BBC, the Australian government, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Democratic National Campaign Committee. The BBC used anonymous edits to vandalize an article about President G. W. Bush. By using anonymous browsers like Tor, though, anonymous posts may be truly anonymous, although there is a Mediawiki tool used by Wikipedia which "restricts Tor exit nodes".
Wikipedia's Scandalous Anonymous Administrators
Israel's experience with Wikipedia illustrates the danger, not just to truth but to world security, of Wikipedia's policy of allowing anonymous edits, and even protecting their administrators from scrutiny with anonymity.
Adam Kredo - NOVEMBER 20, 2019 2:35 PM
"...top Wikipedia editors...use the online encyclopedia to promote anti-Israel bias and causes....The Israel Group...is set to launch next year a database that will expose the true identities of many leading Wikipedia editors who harbor anti-Israel bias and have implanted this viewpoint across the website through more than 325,000 edits during the past 10 years. It has already listed the identities of several of these editors....Wiki-Israel, seeks to provide accountability for the numerous and often anonymous editors who control all of the content that exists on Wikipedia.
"Trying to teach anyone the truth and facts about Israel is a futile effort as long as Wikipedia, the number one online educational resource globally, substantiates the lies and propaganda promulgated by the BDS movement," Jack Saltzberg, founder and president of the Israel Group told the Washington Free Beacon.
The Israel Group website says "Volunteer ‘administrators' (with lifetime positions), responsible for overseeing the editing process of Wikipedia, have not only allowed anti-Israel editors freedom to take over Wikipedia, they have participated by blocking and banning predominantly Jewish and pro-Israel editors.
" the group said. ...The organization has been working for years to find the editors responsible for anti-Israel content and unearth details about their identities.
"The Israel Group has been working for many years, under the radar, on a confidential initiative, Wiki-Israel, that combats Wikipedia's antisemitic bias against Israel," the group said. "The initiative includes a dedicated website that, among many other things, shows how anti-Israel editors smear Israel—both subtly and overtly—across hundreds of articles, and how the pro-Israel community can stop it."
Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is email@example.com.
Exception: When Anonymous Posts Are Allowed
In this “land of the free, and home of the brave”, real danger is seldom anyone’s reason for posting anonymously. But if your life or the lives of your relatives would be at risk from posting your ideas with your real name, for example if you are a refugee living in safety but you have relatives living under tyranny, you may enter another name followed by the number sign #. Don't do this if the risk is only to your reputation or even your business. It is critical to serious dialog that participants know who they are talking to, just as, in American courts, our Bill of Rights protects the right of defendants to face their accusers.
The SAVETHEWORLD administrator will alone know who you really are. It may not even be essential for the administrator to know your true identity, IF someone else whose identity we CAN confirm certifies that you are a real person whose circumstances truly justify anonymity.
If you post anonymously, we may be more sensitive to and less patient with personal attacks, profanity, ads, spam, or other non-constructive stuff. You may be blocked with greater dispatch and less patience than if you use your real name. And you will not be taken as seriously as if we know who you are.
TOR users welcome
TOR is a browser which serves the cause of freedom for people under governments which punish free speech. TOR makes it impossible for tyrants to trace where criticism came from. Wiki software - the software designed for and used by Wikipedia - is designed to allow people to post anonymously, but to record only the server that sent the post. Since TOR doesn't allow identification of the sending server, Wiki software doesn't allow people using TOR to post anonymously.
Since this wiki site doesn't permit anonymous posts anyway, TOR users are welcome here. If you create an account under the previous conditions, TOR will remain your friend. In fact this section was entered using TOR.
unseen.is is an example of encrypted email service which no tyrant can trace. If your circumstances truly justify it, you are welcome to use TOR, www.unseen.tw, and use a pseudonym, provided the SAVETHEWORLD administrator can verify the facts above, and that your account is for a better cause than to unload spam.
What does this forum allow that others don't?
Here is an overview of other formats, showing their limitations in serving the need addressed by our Forum. These comparisons overlap those at Offer.
The potential for robust dialog here compares with the Platform Committee discussions/debates of the Democrat and Republican parties. Among in-person, face-to-face meetings, the most robust verbal dialog is surely found there. (The "platforms" are the official positions that the parties "stand" on. The individual positions are called "planks" in the "platform".) Those discussions provide the rare experience of reasoning with very intelligent people who disagree on a few things, longer than most people will allow, in a mood of really remarkable mutual respect considering the passions aroused by the importance of the topics. Unfortunately participation in them is very limited: there is room for very few, and time for very few meetings every two years.
Yet it is hard to imagine anywhere else that welcomes that much disagreement about public issues, for that long.
Anywhere else, the discovery that you disagree with someone about something very important to the other fellow is usually enough to end the conversation after a pithy insult from the other guy about how closed minded you presumably are.
The potential for dialog here is greater than that of an political party’s Platform Committee in that (1) we interact continuously, not just for a couple of months every two years;(2)and anyone can participate, without any numerical limit; and (3) we don’t just interact with people in our own party, or even religion, or with those who even a little agree with us. We interact with everyone willing to enter our forum.
Disagreement is absolutely welcome there! Disagreement is their candy!
But their purpose, and their format, where they are routinely assigned to defend positions they don't even believe, is a very clumsy way to establish truth, or to achieve consensus on either evidence, facts, or logic, much less is it a forum where strategies can be prayed about and public action taken together.
Their purpose is like that of the ancient Greeks, who debated for the glory of personally winning, not for the healing for the nation, of the Truth winning. In fact in ancient Greece there was skepticism whether truth even existed. When Pilate asked Jesus "'Truth'? What's that?" in John 18:38, that was a very Greek idea. Debate societies don't necessarily take the position that Truth doesn't exist, but they do operate as if Truth is irrelevant. Deception that "wins" is praised more than truth that "loses".
While that is very clumsy preparation in the love and pursuit of Truth to champion what you believe, it is the perfect preparation for becoming a lawyer and arguing in Court.
But at least debaters learn to not just tune out anyone who disagrees.
Articles by staff reporters are featured. They are supposed to report both sides of issues, and usually they do at least call someone opposed to the positions they favor to get some quote from them.
But reporters are unaccountable when they don’t explain the angle of the story, ignore the context of quotes, doctor the wording of quotes, ignore the evidence or reasoning given during an hour-long interview which they summarize in 50 words, or otherwise transform the positions of their ideological opponents into “straw men” - positions never taken by their opponents, but which they find much easier to ridicule even to fellow opponents of their views. An angle never hinted at during the hour-long, friendly, sympathetic interview. This format leaves a trail of destroyed reputations which reduce the ability of opponents of the newspaper’s favored positions to contribute to society for decades.
Limited accountability is found in the “Opinion” page far from the front page. Anyone able to stuff “the rest of the story” into 200 words is welcome to submit, and some of the criticism will be printed. There is also a “corrections” box in tiny print, stuffed on any random page with a half inch to spare. This is a place for misspelled names or wrong dates, not a place to report distortions of a reporter. It is this lack of accountability, enabling abuse of their monopoly on information, which has led to the dramatic decline of newspapers over the past half century as a growing segment of the population finds the facts they know unrepresented and distorted, so they find alternative news sources or create their own. This decline began before the internet and continues even as they have gone online.
Any individual may post his own articles or opinions on his own website. Unfortunately it is rare to find such a writer who even makes a show of contacting an ideological opponent to learn his view.
Accountability is limited to the “comments” below the article. Unfortunately the “comments” sections are dominated by anonymous “trolls” to whom relationship skills are The Enemy. They are divisive, profane, insulting, off the subject of the article, and they lie, misrepresenting their own positions, and apparently are driven to shock rather than elucidate.
Some comment sections are “moderated”, meaning they are not posted until a moderator approves them. One problem with that is most websites can’t afford enough staff or attract enough volunteers for the job. A second problem is the difficulty of developing objective enough rules to distinguish between valuable ideas from borderline ideas and spam. This leads to the third problem: suspicion among readers that the moderator is only there to censor disagreement, so there is no use submitting a comment if you disagree.
The more fundamental problem is that few comments, even of those most acceptable, add to the information in the article. Most are only tangentally relevant to it. They typically consist more of reactions to each other than to the subject. And indeed, bloggers rarely express any interest in having their claims added to or corrected, which supports the suspicion that moderators might incline to censor such contributions.
Yet another problem, for the purposes addressed by PMF, is that comments are not organized by subject. You can’t look through a file of 500 comments and find the two or three that address a particular aspect of the subject. You can’t even search them, because the website displays only a few comments at a time, which take a little time to load because of the “avatars” (pictures by each name) and the ads. These challenges face the comments section after articles in online newspapers, as well as after individuals’ blogs.
“Think Tanks” are organizations which hire scholars to produce articles and research on a variety of topics. They fill the need to create much better researched information on current topics of public concern than is possible in 500 word newspaper articles or 300 word blogs, by researchers with university credentials on their topic unlike news reporters whose credentials are in reporting, which is kept continuously available as opposed to blogs and articles which are mostly forgotten after a few days.
But if they are accountable to anybody for their errors, there is no transparency about it. Not all researchers even post contact information. Their organizations do, but if you contact them with a proposal or a correction there is no assurance that you will hear back from them, or if they do, that they will seriously consider your idea. Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a remarkable forum that consistently turns up in the first page of search results if not in the top two or three results. It is a Think Tank with the resources to produce over 5 million articles as of January 2016, growing by 20,000 a month, and to keep them reasonably updated and perpetually available. By comparison, Encyclopedia Britannica has 40,000 articles in paper and 120,000 online. Microsoft’s Encarta has 70,000.
Snopes and Factcheck
We, too, check alleged facts and will respond to suggestions about what to check, except that here, you see who does the research, and you can see how people on conflicting sides of controversial facts reason with each other about the facts. And we are accountable to the public: anyone can correct an error or omission they spot, and a record is kept of every proposed correction even if it is rejected, like on Wikipedia.
...is the personification of accountability; anyone can correct its articles, and yet is in turn subject to others who may remove edits based on rather objective criteria. Yet none of this information or debate is forever deleted; a record of all edits, as well as deletions of edits with reasons given, is kept available, although they are organized only by date and not by subject.
By comparison, there was little accountability in the encyclopedias of the past, in which there was no process for correcting errors or biases which got past staff.
In Wikipedia, the ad hominem attacks, irrelevance, self promotion, spam etc which plague comments sections is effectively dealt with by Wikipedia volunteers.
There will certainly be overlap between our articles and Wikipedia articles, and overlap between our rules and theirs.
But Wikipedia has limits which prevent it meeting the needs which this wiki addresses.
Original thinking censored. Wikipedia does not allow original research, original ideas, or even original syntheses of published opinions or research. Our forum welcomes original thinking, because we want solutions.
For example, here is what came up for a search for "Kshatriya" December, 2019: "This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.Statements consisting only of original research should be removed." No original research allowed, indeed! A rather limiting requirement!
Mainstream publishers must approve. Wikipedia accepts only references to opinions and facts published by “a published, reliable source”, even though Wikipedia acknowledges controversy about what sources are “reliable”. There is no consideration for the fact that the two sides of a controversy have different views about which sources are “reliable”, not to mention that within each of the "two sides" are many other opinions. Wikipedia's examples favor “mainstream”, “established” sources, which, on controversial political topics, lean liberal enough to have launched "Conservapedia". Generally, “Most international and national newspapers, magazines, and scientific journals” are reliable, but “"Self-published books, personal Web sites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources." (Wikipedia:Verifiability)” Which raises at least one question: if the subject is a person and his positions, is HIS personal website an "acceptable...source"?
Mythical “Neutrality”. Wikipedia requires the mythical “Neutral Point of View” (POV). Our forum does not honor neutrality on whether a claim or opinion is right or wrong. We want right to be vindicated, and wrong to be put out of its misery.
No new information. Wikipedia does not allow new information, or breaking news. Wikipedia actually says:
Such content may well be true, but as far as Wikipedia's policies are concerned, true isn't enough. Information must be verifiable, which means it must be backed by a published source outside Wikipedia. Simply put, Wikipedia must never be the first place that news appears. If a tree falls in a forest and it's not reported elsewhere, then Wikipedia isn't going to report it either. 
Nothing about yourself. You can’t write about yourself; not even in an article others have written about you that contains lies about you. There is an exception, but the exception is limited enough to make a truly balanced, fair article difficult.
We also tend to discourage authors from writing about themselves or their own accomplishments, as this is a conflict of interest. If you have notable accomplishments, someone else will write an article about you (eventually). Wikipedia:Autobiography has more detail on this.
By contrast, the Bible says it is scandalous to judge a man without first listening to his complete defense.
Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Not allowing the subjects of articles to fully correct mischaracterizations of their positions is what Wikipedia calls balanced reporting that avoids a "conflict of interest". Allowing them to respond would be “autobiographical”. Wikipedia wants articles to be “objective”. What Wikipedia calls “objective”, God calls “folly and shame”.
Wikipedia's problem is made worse by its policy of keeping editors unidentified in the articles they edit. Here, if someone says something about you, you can respond, and sign your name to your response, which solves the fairness problem and the conflict of interest problem together.
Wikipedia likewise discourages people from linking to evidence that they have published elsewhere. Thus, the top world experts on a topic can’t contribute their expertise to Wikipedia’s articles edited by relative amateurs. This is probably the primary cause of a higher error rate in Wikipedia articles than in encyclopedias. Again, there is an exception, but the exception has awkward limits and its use is discouraged.
It is Wikipedia’s goal of the mythical “neutral point of view” that creates the possibility of a “conflict of interest” in writing about your own research. Normally, in writing about themselves, people emphasize the good stuff and omit the bad, leaving a picture that is not “neutral”. Our forum values any contribution that is relevant, and the more expert it is, the better.
Complicated rules. Wikipedia reports criticism of the complexity of its rules. “It's harder and harder for new people to adjust.” “... the sheer complexity of the rules and laws governing content and editor behavior has become excessive and creates a learning burden for new editors.” “Wikipedia's rules have had the unintended effect of driving away new contributors to the site.” (See “Excessive rule making”.)
However, the 4th “rule” in the “Simplified Rule Set” is:
Ignore all rules (IAR): Rules on Wikipedia are not fixed in stone. The spirit of the rule trumps the letter of the rule. The common purpose of building an encyclopedia trumps both. This means that any rule can be broken for a very good reason, if it ultimately helps to improve the encyclopedia. It doesn't mean that anything can be done just by claiming IAR, or that discussion is not necessary to explain one's decision.
Nevertheless our forum has Wikipedia beat for simplicity. Our rules fit in a short paragraph. Our “tips” are completely optional; violation of them will not get your contributions deleted or reverted, as happens in Wikipedia: they are strictly for your benefit. They are principles that will help make you more persuasive in any situation where you are trying to reason with people who disagree.
|To summarize, we are like Wikipedia in that we are accountable to anyone who can find any error in anything we publish, except that top experts on a subject are allowed to participate and to cite their own articles or research, which is not allowed there, which limits participation to the less informed. Original ideas and solutions are also welcome here but not there. Also, discussion and debate about the substance of the issue; there, discussion can only be about what information can be posted. Plus we welcome far more information than is welcome in Wikipedia’s issue summaries. Like Wikipedia, we preserve a record of contributions which the majority rejects for inaccuracy, except that we make it easier to find: we encourage “Minority Reports” at the end of our main articles or within the arguments wherever there is a disputed fact or argument.
Is information thought by the conservatives running this site to be "liberal" allowed there? For example, would they allow a Bible study showing that by the two tests of of "conservative" - "Does it line up with the Bible?" and "Is it consistent with the policies of America's Founders?" - repeal of numerical limits on immigration is "conservative"? Apparently not. I posted the question but my question wasn't answered.
Even the Bible fully articulates the reasoning of God's enemies. Persuasive reasoning has to address its critics, as 1 Peter 3:15 confirms. Every attempt of any forum to censor dissent produces a lot of "grey area" around the censored content, in which people do not know whether they are welcome or not, and in which people who assumed they were fully welcome discover they are not.
Why we call this SaveTheWorld
People with ambitious goals are too often ridiculed by saying "He thinks he can save the world."
For example, at Save The World Quotes, the first entry is: “Still trying to save the world?” “Always,” I said, “and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s working. The world is still here.” ― Nicole Williams, Crash (Another quote, to help give a sense of what the phrase means to people: “We can’t save the world...But still we try anyway... One day at a time.” ― Marie Lu, Rebel
Actually, not only do we THINK mere fallen humans COULD "save the world" if they wanted, but Jesus told us if we set our goals as high as mountains, He will have our back.
Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Jesus also told us specifically to save the world
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So even though many have a tragically unrealistic view of how helpless they are, at least the phrase accurately describes our goal.
Several Scriptures show us that God doesn't mean for us to do it alone. When we find no help, God is faithful to make up much of the lack, but real transformation of society is the expected result when many of "My people, who are called by My Name" (1 Chronicles 7:14) interact through Biblical forums. I created this wiki website, this way of interacting, in pursuit of an online version of the interaction God seeks for us that I read about in Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 14 and Proverbs 15:22. Lots more Scripture: Bible_Blueprints_for_Christian_Meetings
With these teensy qualifications:
(1) Our goal is a lot better than merely learning a few magic words that will get you into Heaven, because the Gospel (translation: Good News) is a lot more than that!It is about full life starting right now. And it is not socially or politically inert. It turns the world right side up.
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
(2) Our goal is to help everyone achieve the good that they want. Unfortunately many want evil. Many more are so used to evil that they resist anything better, if anything better would be different.
...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - The Declaration of Independence
But there are a few people who are tired of evil and are ready to work to turn evil into good. Our goal is to help them. And to join God's project of proclaiming to the whole world God's readiness to help. If we can get that close to "saving the world", the phrase will have been proved close enough to realistic to be useful. Our goal is also to strengthen faith to endure the natural consequences of evil - the "long train of abuses" - that must come upon the world before there will be a population tired of evil and ready for Jesus' help removing it.
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
This wiki is for people who want to accomplish A LOT. And are willing to WORK a lot.
How the phrase is mocked and mutilated
"Still trying to save the world?" is a way of mocking selfless, ambitious heroes with goals for helping others are as high as mountains - even heroes who never use the phrase. The fact is this "world" that we are trying to "save" is only amused by people fully engaged in serving others - at least before we acquire "success", for example, a respectable salary, honorable title, etc. The question insinuates that were such a hero reasonable he would by now have seen his folly and scaled back to "feathering his own nest".
But God's answer is "Why aren't YOU?" God calls all of us to be heroes. He calls all of us to set our sights on mountains of evil. Unfortunately that is not a common goal of American churches.
In fact, theological-sounding objections are commonly raised to even stating the goal.
"You can't save the world. Only Jesus can."
"The world will only get worse and worse. That is what is prophesied. Accept it."
"Jesus will save the world when He comes again." (Implication: before then, Jesus will not support such human efforts. Second implication: when Jesus saves the world, He will do it all by himself, with no human partnership.)
Such attacks are based on assumptions about what "save the world" means which are a distraction from how high God wants us to aim.
Assumption #1: Anyone who talks about "saving the world" means humans doing it without Jesus. Well, that is often the case when environmentalists talk about saving the "planet". But the concept of a Christian "saving the world" by Christian criteria, without Christ, is intellectually unsustainable. Without Jesus, there is no Gospel to preach. Duh it is only by the power of Jesus that we dare set our sights any higher than our own human resources will easily reach.
Assumption #2: Stating our goal as "saving the world" articulates a conviction that it is entirely within our reach to completely "save the world". Well, we would see A LOT of world-wide healing and Revival if that were even a goal widely shared by Christians. But completely? What would that even mean? Would that mean getting EVERYONE saved and Heaven-bound? Not even after Jesus comes again will there be no sin, according to Revelation 21:27. There have been "Revivals" in the past, where not everyone was saved, but the culture saw considerable healing. Contempt for God was confined to isolated individuals, and found no support from media. And yet even during those periods of spiritual "refreshment", Acts 3:19, the most innocent of souls ignorantly practiced what came later to be understood as crimes. Slavery, for example. It's like a musician wanting to be perfect. Well, no matter how good you get, there is always more to achieve. A closer-at-hand example: it is a great crime for Christians whom God has equipped to move mountains of evil together, to not even be allowed to strategize together how to do that, when they meet in church, because that would be "controversial", and "politics". When Jesus comes again one of His priorities will be for us to rule with Him, so presumably today's resistance to "saving the world" will be history. But today, resistance is so widespread and entrenched that it takes considerable independent thinking and Bible study to see around it, so many people who perpetuate that resistance do so as innocently as Christian slave owners of the past.
Assumption #3: Prophecy makes spiritual idiots of any Christian still yanking on mountains of evil. "Things will only get worse and worse", we are told. So we need to stop trying to do so much good, and numb our brains with TV reruns like every other sensible Christian. Fortunately groups like Wycliff, Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs, etc haven't given up. Wycliff Bible Translators is on track to literally get Bible translations in every language. For a Bible study of this objection, see What we can Pray for that isn't Forbidden by Prophecy
Assumption #4: Getting "saved" means going to Heaven, so "saving the world" means getting the world into Heaven. Wait a minute. "The world" is not a person that can go to either Heaven or Hell. And yet that is the implication of criticizing the goal of "saving the world" because we can never save every person (because not everyone WANTS to be saved). Let's try to think about the meaning of the words we are using, and stop blaming others for words which critics mutilate into theological errors which their words can't possibly support. If "save the world" can't mean getting the world into Heaven, what remains for it to mean? How about "healing for the world's cultures"? How about "revival"? How about "the world's media losing its hostility to God so people do not face that obstacle to eternal life"?
Actually the Bible means several other things, by the word "saved", than just going to Heaven. For example:
Saved from drowning: 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Saved from slavery: Judges 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Saved from wrath, judgment, which falls both here and hereafter: Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Saved from sickness: Luke 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
Saved from physical death: Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
Saved from national captivity: Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Saved from enemies: Psalm 106:10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. Also Ps 44:7, 18:3, Neh 9:27, 2Sa_22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Saved from all troubles: Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Saved from capture: 2 Kings 6:10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
Saved from physical death: 2 Kings 6:10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
Saved from military defeat: 1 Samuel 14:23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.
Saved from execution by an angel: Numbers 22:33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
Saved from drowning: Exodus 1:18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?
So it is consistent with Biblical usage of the word "saved", as well as the impossibility of the "world" going to Heaven, to understand that the phrase "save the world" doesn't have to mean getting "the world" into Heaven, or getting everyone into Heaven. The most natural meaning is the goal of drawing people closer to God, on a very widespread scale. Revival, in other words.
Let's understand how Jesus used the concept
Jesus calls us to preach the Gospel in the whole world, and promises that as we do, whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. In other words, the fact that people will believe and be saved is promised by Jesus as the good result which our preaching makes possible. In fact, the very purpose of our preaching is so people will have the opportunity to accept salvation. That is not just our goal; it is God's goal. Not that "we" save anybody by ourselves, but we partner with Jesus in saving, well, people all over the world.
So as we present Bible truths, and set for ourselves very ambitious goals, are we permitted to believe God will give us success? No, we are not "permitted"; we are CALLED to believe. So if we do what God says will result in people being "saved", and our Biblical mandate is to reach the whole world, where is the theological error in stating that "save the world" is the goal for which we labor?
Benefits of the phrase "save the world":
- It stands with Jesus in communicating (1) very high goals, (2) goals intended to benefit everybody, and (3) at considerable personal cost to those so aiming.
- It is a very recognizable idiom. Though mocked by many lazy, unimaginative people who regard aiming as high as mountains as foolish - not "realistic". It communicates aiming high perhaps better than any other English idiom.
- It is a reasonably accurate summary of Jesus' Great Commission in three words - brevity which is essential in a website name.
- It is so close in meaning to what Jesus calls all of us to do, that "the world", meaning the culture of much of the world, mocks the goal in about the same way, and for about the same reasons, that "the world" mocks Jesus' Great Commission itself: if "the world" wanted to be "saved", it would already be saved. Our mission calls for more than mailing out a smiley card. We have mental inertia to overcome. Even our own children resist our most loving efforts to raise them to be safe and successful. Children do not make parenting easy. Shall we expect less resistance from 7 billion sin-hardened adults?