IT Employment

Is your boss a dictator?

TV and movies are filled with stereotypes of the dictatorial boss. But this is because there are so many of them. Is your boss a dictator? If so, how did he or she get that way?

TV and movies are filled with stereotypes of the dictatorial boss. But this is because there are so many of them. Is your boss a dictator? If so, how did he or she get that way?

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Editor's note: Toni is out on a long-overdue vacation this week. In her absence, we are posting repeats of some of her more popular blogs.

In many discussion postings on TechRepublic and in e-mail messages I've received from members, I've heard a lot about bad bosses. One type of boss that I hear a lot about is the dictator. This is the boss who rules by fear and intimidation and is prone to bursts of cruelty when dealing with his employees.

One question always nags at me: Are bad bosses that way because they're bad people, or are they basically good people who have been psychologically changed by the addition of authority? In other words, are bad bosses born or are they made? Is it true what Lord Acton said, that "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely"?

I once worked with a guy who was really engaging and easy to talk to. He always had an ambitious streak but nothing that would send up any red flags. But once he'd achieved a position of authority, he seemed to take on a different personality. He became a "my way or the highway" kind of guy. I heard that in meetings he would openly ridicule and humiliate his staff members. And I don't think he ever admitted he was wrong about anything from the moment he acquired authority. When I spoke to him socially after that, he could still conjure up that engaging guy I used to know, but it became increasingly difficult to ignore his work persona.

In 1971, social scientists at Stanford University conducted an experiment (the Stanford Prison Experiment) in which they wanted to find out why prisons were such awful places. Specifically, they wanted to know if it was because prisons are full of nasty people, or if prisons are so terrible that they make people nasty. The researchers set up a simulated prison where they could note the effects of this institution on the "behavior of all those within its walls."

Twenty-four college students participated in the study. They were all given diagnostic interviews and personality tests in the beginning. The students were then divided into two groups by a flip of the coin. Half were assigned to be guards, the other half to be prisoners. The guards' only instruction was to do whatever they thought was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison.

The experiment was scheduled to take two weeks but was halted after just six days. Why? The "guards" became so abusive -- even those who claimed to be pacifists -- that the "prisoners" had become emotionally traumatized.

Now, of course that was an experiment, and the office is not a prison (though on some days it may feel that way), but the results are still chilling. I'm inclined to think that there was a preexisting weakness in the character of those people who become corrupted by authority -- something a psychological test couldn't have detected. I do think leadership changes people, but I really can't believe that inside all of us is some seed of cruelty that is germinated by power.

I'd like to hear your opinions on this. Do you think dictators are born or made?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

152 comments
jop
jop

People do not actually change. Gaining authority and/or wealth merely allows them to release their true nature for all to see.

gstrickland
gstrickland

The MD of the company I subcontract my service too isn't only a dictator, he's also rule and very very arrogant. If his company doesn't make enough profit on a job, it has been known for him to demand a money back from the sub-contractors whom he hired to do the work for him. When a young lady became unexpectdly pregnant, he accused her of trying to rip him and his company off. He accuses others of staying in expensive hotels (untrue) and taking the p*ss out of him and his company. He buys the cheapest products at all times and expects them to work in the same way as the branded and most expensive products and complains bitterly when they don't perform as he expects. He's a loser.

judexy22
judexy22

From my previous comment, I would like to add the following : A Boss cannot be a good Boss if he does not know well enough the job to be done, only by knowing well enough the job that he can command respect. He needs make sure that his Team also is very knowledgeable and not mentally lazy, need always to think to avoid disasters, even if not to be creative. Being creative is a plus, but can also be a source of problems. Do the job well at all level to avoid disasters is the most important thing to do ! Training is important, too many meetings is a bad sign that things do not tick !

judexy22
judexy22

I have known a couple of Bosses who were Dictators. In my opinion, as soon as a Man is promoted to a job of authority, he is no more part and parcel of the ex-team. He is afraid the others will purposefully do things wrong to get him into problems. So, he protects himself by being a Dictator ! Others who were not from the ex-team, may come in and be racist. Still others become Dictators because of lack of knowledge of the job. They try to present a positive image from their own point of view. I developed a strategy against dictator Boses. I updated all my work every 2 hours. I shew them that I am knowledgeable. Then, they tried to be my friends because they wanted to use me. In meetings, I often started speaking and then invited the Boss to continue because of his knowledge. So, he always got trapped and is the joke of the meeting ! Of course I got kicked out sooner ! This helped me to start my own business and I am now my own Boss and very happy. I think I can advise those who suffer dictatorship. Each case is different case. My email address : judex@intnet.mu

sohanw
sohanw

I think bosses are not born dictators. They sure have some leadership qualities thats why they get the posts. They become dictators when they are pressed for time to deliver goods of good quality. Probably what happens is that the bosses get frustrated when the employees have their own way within the allocated time and then produce mediocre stuff unless not monitored or bossed. Then the employees, instead of finding ways to negotiate and provide goods which are acceptable just go ahead and label his/her boss. I think this is the most common cause; at least in the region I am in. I feel that the boss is a good reasonable human until his employees are going to deliver what had been promised or what had been claimed (could be done). Lets all do our part right and then we would not feel that a boss is a dictator. NTSW

dragon
dragon

Just look at the NAZI war crime Rorschach inkblot test results. The men who did all those hideous things, test to be a typical cross section of any western culture. You get back from a culture what it's members put into it.

MSM
MSM

a while back someone advised me when hiring staff to consider that there are generally two kinds of employees - thoroughbreds and mules. in fact i may have read that on TechRepublic way back in the old days. anyway the point is that some people have to be told exactly what to do, be monitored, babysat, led around by the nose - whatever you want to call it. some people don't. if you have employees who are thoroughbreds, you point to the finish line and then get the hell out of the way. i don't like to stand over or micromanage my staff so i look for people who show initiative. i make a concerted effort not to hire someone who can't take a goal and create their own workpath to achieve it. i hired an entire technical staff of thoroughbreds. then i was reassigned to another type of department and a micromanaging, old school "sales manager" type of manager took over management of my hand-picked staff of thoroughbreds. every last one of the them is miserable. it's not necessarily the new boss' fault that these people are now mismatched. but oddly, the new boss was instrumental in creating the new department i got assigned to run. maybe it IS his fault. he has said point blank that he will not change his management style for anyone. i've told him that he's ruining a good staff. he doesn't care - he will replace them with less efficient people who require his style of oversight. so much for smarter business...

teejaymt
teejaymt

If the boss is a dictator and he is dictating rules and regulation it's mean he is fine but if he has ego and he wants his own rules in work place it is totally wrong it's mean the boss is premature or he is achiving Position in early stage

MINI-Rex
MINI-Rex

It really depends on which side of the fence you are viewing from. As a supervisor/manager, I want to be able to trust the work and work ethics of my staffs; as a staff, I don't want my boss to breathe on my neck. What perceives as dictatorship could mean an approcah to perform up to management expectation. Where do we draw the line? Like in my situation, I hired an inexperienced tech support who gets distracted easily by personal affairs, rendering holes in some of the works. So far, he has not blown up my network, but I had to demoted his right on the network because there were many "guesstimate" works. Are my precautionary actions and follow-up of his works being dictatorship? I am not being sarcastic, I really don't know. Unlike my previous tech support who I could completely trust with even domain admin right given (only when he needed it of course), I don't even want my current guy to logon to any servers if work permits it. So I do not feel a boss can be branded as "dictator" unless s/he says "you are only allowed to press Crtl+Alt+Del, never Alt+Crtl+Del to logon".

emm757
emm757

I worked at a major computer manufacturing company for several years and hated that place. The company encouraged the bosses to be jerks. They hired people who were control freaks, abusive and total jerks. I belive that's one of the biggest reason's why that company went under. So, all of you who are jerks to your employees take notice. You might not have a job because of your actions.

chrispots
chrispots

This is not as simple as "power corrupts people." I believe that attempting to understand why some bosses are dictators is the first step in resolving the problem. First, ask the question as to whether or not "the boss" has ever had any true management training? Most manager's I've dealt with\deal with are in a management position because of seniority or because of outstanding performance in their previous position or they're just good at brown-nosing the next in command or they woke up one morning and said ???I want to be a manager??? and manipulated the wording of their resume in such a way to obtain a position that entails some type of supervision. In my opinion, neither of these reasons is acceptable criteria for someone to be ???the boss.??? Despite formal education generally receiving a thumbs down in many of the blogs here, I believe there is tremendous value in formal education in that it broadens your perspective. That being said, I don't consider obtaining an BS in Business Management or even an MBA as formal management training. I see these degrees as analytical training. Educational programs in organization leadership, professional management\professional leadership and the like is the type of training I believe is required. I have an MA in Organizational Leadership and it has completely changed my perspective on what management should be. The focus of good management training should be how to best utilize and develop your most valuable resource - the human resource. Comprehending that concept alone can transform the dictator boss into a reasonably competent (or at least somewhat palatable) boss. In the experiment noted in Toni's post, I can reasonably assume those college students who played the role of the guards had zero ???guard??? training. This aligns with my hypothesis that dictator bosses lack any true management training. This I see as the root of the dictator boss. Consider this...How competent would you be if you were asked to develop a web site with a back-end database that fed your supply chain DB and CRM DB with scrubbed data from both of these DB's being interfaced into the ERP system yet you neither had the training or the tools do perform that complex task? I would suspect you might get a bit defensive and feel remarkably overwhelmed. The easiest defense mechanisms to such a conundrum are stick your head into the sand like an Ostrich or put on the facade of dictator. So to answer the question: bosses are neither born or made - they are more a function of circumstance.

dwd1949
dwd1949

A dictator "Boss" in a "right to work" state such as South Carolina tends to allow "open season" on the dictatorial powers carried out. There is nothing to prohibit the hiring or firing with or without any reason or cause. And a dictator will carry out the authoritarian sentence with great relish to gain whatever monetary gains are possible. In otherwords the ends justify the means or rather it's my way or the highway. And don't even suggest anything, because I'm not interested because I know what's best all the time. If you don't like it LEAVE!!

rgauthier
rgauthier

"Editor's note: Toni is out on a long-overdue vacation this week. In her absence, we are posting repeats of some of her more popular blogs." Is this because she implied that her boss was a dic ... ? :)

blarman
blarman

It all comes down to motivation. Is the manager motivated by personal gain or company gain? Ego tends to take a back seat when the company's goals are placed higher than those of the individual and vice-versa. What's worse is when the corporate culture encourages the Tim Curry line from the 3 Musketeers: "All for one, and more for me."

Mooney Driver
Mooney Driver

Back when I was a slave of the manufacturing world, I had several managers that were on power trips. I know these creatures emerge into other areas of life, but these beasts seem to thrive in manufacturing environments. In manufacturing the 'fear based' control techniques seem to be an essential management tool for some reason. Anyway, one of the worst was manager/dictator/prison guard that I had while working in a cubicle area. All we could see was his head staring at us over the walls while he was watching his laborers. He would stare us down with his neck stretched high if he thought we were talking, etc. This guy was horrible, and I actually wrote a poem about him called "The Head" which is below. Thank God that I am not in that environment anymore! THE HEAD It is said we dread the Head whose nightmares chase us in our beds. We then wake to morning???s light, return to work to see the sight. The sight we see is as before, that ugly head coming through the door! HERE IT COMES!!! Wow! That was close! That ugly head is really gross. One day these chains of bondage we shall break, and that dreaded Head we will forsake. No more to see it in the halls, nor peering over cubicle walls. No more to fear the right to speak, looking over our shoulders, whispering cheek to cheek. No more to march to that cattle call, ???time for break???, ???hey you are late!??? Yes, one day we will leave this Hell, and dream sweeter dreams that time will tell. But as for now, it???s ???BACK TO WORK!??? I dread that Head, what a jerk! ~ Glenn E. (1992)

tom.doran
tom.doran

When a manager/supervisor/leader/"boss" is ineffectual it is typically a problem of a lack of training. This ain't rocket science. Treating your people with respect while still focusing on getting the job done is a fundamental of every management training course that I know of --military, college or post-graduate. There is, of course, no guarantee those lessons will sink in for a particular individual. Some people are just self-absorbed jerks, who try to cover their insecurity with loud voices and threats.

chas_2
chas_2

"Are bad bosses that way because they???re bad people, or are they basically good people who have been psychologically changed by the addition of authority?" It's because they're bad people. What else could explain how someone loses their ability to empathize with others, to listen, to forget accomplishments, and to overload and demoralize one's worker bees? Bad bosses are bad people. Period.

dbecker
dbecker

As the author of "Assertive Incompetence an Introduction to Management Malpractice", my thought is that incompetence is at the core of bad management, particularly where opportunistic aggressiveness outstrips fundamental abilities. My management formula is simple: MP = I / S. This means that Management Potential equals Image divided by Substance. Furthermore, the basic premise of Assertive Incompetence is that people are promised a vision -- an appealing one -- that everyone wants to work toward. The successful manager / director / vice president / CEO realizes that the object will never be achieved and when the time is nearly due, makes an even greater, more appealing, vision to distract everyone from realizing what a failure the original vision really was. The abusive manager is one who is beligerent and has bought into his own PR. For better insight into how pressures form modern management, one only look at Robert Jackall's remarkable book, "Moral Mazes". What is right and moral is what everyone wants from you. And in the Corporate world, the Corporation -- as Dr. Robert Hare so effectively demonstrated in the DVD, "The Corporation", is a psychopath with no conscience and no apathy. Basically, it is the ethics that the end justifies the means, and the end is to make a profit at any cost. Management gets caught in the machinery like irrelevant cogs. Unfortunately, both Government and Academia have chosen to adopt the worst of the Corporate Model and implement it badly. I work for a local Government and, well, $10 million for a security system that doesn't work with no request for proposals, no project, no plan, no funding, no requirements and no support. This was the brain child of two managers under the director of IT WHO ARE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER! The wife told us in a staff meeting, "IT isn't very good at managing projects". Was that the one where she told us that we were getting good salaries because she dressed well? Or the one where a supervisor gave a male employee pink women's underwear after he completed his probation? [The list goes on.] The key to the boss being a dictator? It's a coping mechanism. It's impossible to be competent in a dysfunctional environment.

network
network

Here's one to have fun with. My boss has absolutely no control over his home life. His wife, and three daughters totally run the show. He doesn't do any housework or yard work, his wife takes care of all handyman items, including vehicle maintenance. He interrupts meetings to take phone calls from his family, saying that "family comes first." He truly only does this because he will get ripped a new one if he doesn't answer. And "family first" doesn't explain why he spends a minimum of 12 hours a day at the office. Add this to a jock mentality of "must win at all costs," and a "look at me, I'm the best," and you have a recipe for a self-aggrandizing, egotistic, self-serving, brown-nosing, detail-controlling jerk. The thing I love most about this situation is how he is absolutely clueless about my position as the sole IT person, and then dictates what jobs to do because someone else complained to him. The reason that other person complained is because I didn't jump at their job request, as there were critical jobs that required my attention. When confronting the boss' demands, explaining how these other items were much more important, I was told that I was not to challenge his authority, I was only there to support him, and his staff, I had no right to give him a list of my priorities (which should have been his as well), and I cannot ask for an explanation of how to set priorities (since he gave me another list of top priorities earlier in the day).

dcolbert
dcolbert

Seriously? Look at the history of man's cruelty to man. Look at all the devices we have created over the millenia to dispatch and torture, many designed to extend human suffering. Look inside yourself and think of the things in your past that you are ashamed of - trivial things like animosity, petty jealousy, anger and resentment, and then think of examples where you acted out on those emotions. You don't think that there is this potential for darnkess and abuse of power inside of you? Most importantly, think of a time when another human being made you feel powerless and impotent, and what your mindset was on how you would respond if you had power over that individual. I bet your daydreams of revenge weren't pleasant, were they? The guy who gave the seminar at the University who is a big YouTube sensation right now - he mentions the flip side of this, "If you give a person a chance, the most vile, horrible person you can think of, eventually they will surprise you". Because we all have a seed of goodness inside us as well. I believe this guy, as well. Humanity is a glass that is both half-full and half-empty at the same time. As far as management goes, I think there are a lot of things that factor into management style. Personallity is a huge component. Previous experience also factors strongly. A child who grows up in an intolerant, violent family environment is more likely to accept this as normal family behavior and carry on the same cycle in his or her own family. An employee who experiences dictorial management styles is likely to become a dictorial manager if promoted. In particular, new managers are prone to thinking that they need to show their firm, resolute authority to both their employees and their superiors. In studies first time managers are far more prone to thinking that iron-fisted management is the only approach to management. It is a sign of professional immaturity and lack of education and experience - at least, if it is applied as a single approach to management style. With all that said, these same studies show that Iron-Fisted management has a time and a place, as does a laisse faire approach, as well as other philosophies on management style. Management is situational and depends on the dynamics of the employees you are working with. Whenever groups of organized people function toward goals, you'll find these dynamics. And every possible approach is based on the results gained or lost by that approach. The strict father versus the best-friend father, the Facsist versus the Democrat versus the Communist, the iron-fisted manager versus the laisse faire manager. And in any potential approach, you can find an example where the approach you disagree with works. Worse, you can usually find an example where the approach you disagree with worked, and they switched to your prefered method, and it failed. Think of South Africa and their current issues, or Iraq and their current issues. I suppose in that regard, it is worth mentioning that the group culture has a tremendous impact on what kind of approach is more or less likely to be successful. Communism is pretty successful in China because there is a cultural disposition toward communist behavior in China, historically. It is unlikely it would ever work nearly so well in America. Bad leaders, whatever the lead, are bad because they misapply their management approach to the situation they are trying to manage. Some are one-trick ponies, some are just not good at using a situational approach, and some are just hungry with power.

srir78
srir78

Everything depending on how the individual handles the pressure. Look at this scenario in our personal life itself you can see, some parents don't move socially with their children but still they are very good people, and wants to do good to their younger blood. On the other hand, there are parents who do both. In my opinion i would say it depending on how you are taking the pressure of authority and the responsibility.

pweir
pweir

". . . but I really can???t believe that inside all of us is some seed of cruelty that is germinated by power." The Bible teaches that we sinned when Adam first sinned against God and that is how sin came into the world and why we are all sinners by birth and act sinfully. Sin is our nature. Sin can be provoked by temptations, such as one sinner being given authority over other sinners. Sin can only be forgiven by turning to God and believing in Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

Thanks for that, learnt a lot and have seen all of those traits in managers that I have worked for. It explains a lot. Les.

generapharm
generapharm

Anyone noticed that almost all the comments are from subservient underlings who have nothing better to do than complain. If they got on with their work instead of subscribing to this useless blog then they might have the possibility of rising to the level where they would also be bosses. Then they could be rude, abusive and incompetent like the rest of the bosses described. Has no-one anything nice to say about their boss ps I am an ex-boss

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Rorschach results? I can't find anything for which I don't have to pay money.

jksawdon
jksawdon

You're right that it depends on which side of the fence you are on. The question is...have you talked to your inexperienced tech and told them that they are being distracted by their personal affairs and that their skills are not improving like you thought they would? Having been where I was inexperienced and then had no training and was expected to perform perfectly left me feeling persecuted; but I learned on my own really fast and eventually became that trusted employee. So, it might be helpful to have someone work with them or send them for training to learn or something to give that chance (and make sure it is a person who can train - I don't know how many people I have had who were suppose to train me and they didn't want to do it for whatever reason and it was a real waste of time). I have to admit that I have found that anyone with a lot of personal affairs rarely improve. There is always something that needs their attention and it never stops. If after more training and informing them that personal stuff must be handled outside company time as much as possible (there is always some stuff that can't be done after hours), then you will need to let them go or keep writing them up for non-performance until you can let them go.

jksawdon
jksawdon

I worked at a company that required all managers to take a management course. My manager went on to complain to us worker bees how this was a waste of time. Then we had to evaluate the manager after the course; which we rated him as low and I put on my eval that he had said this was a waste of time. He was furious with all of us because he had to take the course again and with a preceptor to help him put the information into practice. Unfortunately, he didn't believe in the practices and everyone had already given up on him and wanted nothing to do with him (including customers). Two years after I left, and a new president brought in (who really shook everyone up), he was gone. He didn't want to learn new style, he had no power at home and the power he had at work was lost because no one had respect for him.

logisticscanada
logisticscanada

It would seem that no one has clearly stated the obvious. That effective management is a learned behaviour.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

not quite. Biblically speaking, our nature is as God created it, though fallen. There is a significant difference between being good, but fallen in nature and being sinful in nature. edit: qualify

neilb
neilb

"So, Batman's next opponent" is not acceptable but pious, patronising preaching is? Sin, original or new, might be [b]your[/b] nature but, being an atheist, I cannot sin. Anyway, Batman's a wuss. Voldemort would whup his ass and Sauron would take him apart with or without The Ring. Neil :) Yeah, I know it's the wrong thread but I DON'T CARE.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Anyone who tries to save them should be crucified......

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

The bible taught me nothing. Considering that it was written by a bunch of superstitious, ignorant people seeking power for themselves, I really don't see why I would want to try and learn from it. Les.

No Bye-Bye
No Bye-Bye

Oh, man, I REALLY don't want to work for you! Dictators / control freaks / bullies are bad enough -- throw in religious zealotry and it's a horrible place to work.

JimInPA
JimInPA

As I general rule I try to stay out of discussions involving religion as it generally goes no where because both parties involved in the discussion generally have strong opinions and their minds cannot be changed. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is your claim that "Sin is our nature. Sin can be provoked by temptations, such as one sinner being given authority over other sinners. Sin can only be forgiven by turning to God and believing in Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners" People are responsible for their own actions. Period. If I am drunk with power and cruelty manifests itself as a result it is I who chose to be that way. It has nothing to do with whether or not I chose to follow Jesus' teaching. People who are not christian can be very good people.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

"Anyone noticed that almost all the comments are from subservient underlings who have nothing better to do than complain." Has anyone worked for a Dictator type manager, who was actually good for their position? The only person that comes to mind is my manager in my early days as a programmer. A very overbearing personality, but once you got to know him, you realise that he knew what he was talking about, better than I did anyway. Les.

seanferd
seanferd

Has no-one anything nice to say about their boss Probably not in this thread. I've read about really good managers in other threads, however. I think this thread tends to lend itself to those who wish to discuss the worst-in-class, however. Anyone noticed that almost all the comments are from subservient underlings who have nothing better to do than complain. Subservient: Apparently not. Underlings: Exactly the attitude that prompts complaint. Nothing better to do than complain: It's a discussion which could be a bull session for some, enlightening for others. Most folks posting probably have their work up to date. I doubt that they are all slackers. Also, statements about experience, however negative, are not necessarily "complaint" in the sense of "whining". If they got on with their work instead of subscribing to this useless blog... Again, I've the feeling that most here have their work under control, or are already going above-and-beyond normal requirements. Many use this site to improve their knowledge, and get help with real problems that affect their business. ... then they might have the possibility of rising to the level where they would also be bosses. Then they could be rude, abusive and incompetent like the rest of the bosses described. Fantastic goal. More of this is what the world needs. We could employ the Peter Principle as a documented guideline for promotion rather than letting it occur spontaneously, with an added requirement for poor attitude. It may take some training, as this attitude which will be required in managers is forbidden in the subservient underling toady subordinate peons. Personally, I've had some great managers, but some really terrible bosses as well. At a guess, for those who've had really good managers, the poor managers look that much worse in comparison.

santeewelding
santeewelding

What cross-section was reading them? Did they employ armadillos or Martians? Surely not themselves.

dragon
dragon

A boss who is a dictator is simply a Nazi war criminal in a different place and time. The last time I personally saw the original Rorschach test results, which where apparently given to everyone tried/convicted for the Nazi crimes in WWII, they where in the hands of a professor at USF. Statistically, they looked just like the results you get from any random sample of any western culture. The only conclusion I've heard is that if you place power in the hands of people not well trained to handle it. Who's upper level management is not actively seeking to control dictatorial results, then It's expected to have really bad results.

professordnm
professordnm

"He didn't want to learn new style, he had no power at home and the power he had at work was lost because no one had respect for him." 'He had no power at home' - couple that with penile insufficiency and there we have the perfect combination for an office managerial misfit.

JimInPA
JimInPA

Nice! A very interesting point. I thought I recognised his name.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

You should know full well that those Non Christians who you claim are good people are [b]Sinners.[/b] The Bible told me so well at least the twisted distorted perverted way that my preacher reads it says so. :^0 :D :^0 :D When you see Nim-Nongs start quoting the Bible as the Cure of everything you know it's time to bunk out of the place. :0 Col ]:)

reisen55
reisen55

One of the few but very good benefits that last every day for independent work. Cash flow can be a headache and job stress, but that goes with everything these days. I can fire myself 10 times a day and not have to pay severance benefits too.

jksawdon
jksawdon

Hear! Hear! I am good at my job and excel at it. I have had some wonderful bosses and co-workers (but I work as a contractor, so it always changes). I have no desire to become a manager or boss or anything; because personally, I think I might be one of those Nazi's in disguise (because I expect people to work when at work and to do a good job). All in all, the good managers make the poor ones and the mediocre look worse than what they may or may not have been.

seanferd
seanferd

Now, let's stop being rational, and get down to some serious whining. :^0

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

I've posted about the good and the great managers I've had in other threads. This one was for the Bad Ones. If just one Bad Boss reads this blog and sees a little of himself in it and makes a change in his or her attitude for the better, it is well worth the time people spent posting. And this blog will have not been "useless". However, if no Boss makes a change, then I guess it really was a waste of time. :)

neilb
neilb

is that Rorschach Tests aren't worth the ink spilt on them. Neil :) Now, multiple exclamation marks as an indicator of a dysfunctional personality is another matter altogether.

neilb
neilb

Myth and mythology, mythical and all tastes of legend slide off my frying pan. "Smelling of roses" :) Sorry, read "skillet"

santeewelding
santeewelding

Had you said "no thing" instead of "nothing" you would have not. Now attend to the bottom of your shoe. Unless you are barefoot, contort to lick it off, and discover the taste. The other, myth and mythology and the mythical, could get you covered head to toe unless you are very, very careful.

neilb
neilb

but pragmatism suggests that mythical weapons are rarely effective.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You do proceed on the basis of mythology, including a codicil that forbids use of weapons? Mythical ones?

neilb
neilb

Stones, thrown first or otherwise, aren't in my mythology.

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

We already know that God does (ever seen a picture of a Duck-Billed Platypus?) :)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

a few indicators that I will suffer eternal pain and damnation. That one should have sealed it. Hey it was either that or spend eternity with a bunch of lying hypocrites....

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

Whatcha think? 2 ton lizard? Huh? Huh? Who's da God? Huh?

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

similar expected outcomes in the immediate, markedly different premises and long-term goals. etu

jsbell
jsbell

Jimmy-jam, thank you for reminding me you do have some background in Christian teaching. I had overlooked that in my responses. My point remains, however. If someone follows the teaching of Jesus they must necessarily defy the teaching of Buddha, as Jesus himself teaches his own absolute exclusivity, and Buddha teaches absolute inclusivity. I believe the only two real escapes from this mutual exclusion are 1) to deny that the specific teachings of any two religious theories are subject to the rule of non-contradiction, or 2) to deny that the Bible accurately represents the teaching of Jesus. If, as you suggest, you know the actual content of Jesus? teaching in detail, then you must know he made these claims that he was the exclusive cure for sin. Nothing you have said appears to actually address this, so I am left to imply that you are probably using one of the two aforementioned escape routes (Please correct me if I am wrong). Therefore I am left to ask, what is it these two teachings have in common that would make a person ?good?? Take anger. If I believe only what Jesus said about the dangers of unjustified anger, how it equates to murder, even if never openly expressed, I might or might not have some common ground with the Buddha. But even here, the motivational difference between the two is astonishing. To the Buddha, anger is simply the consequence of ignorance, of misunderstanding the transitory nature of our illusory circumstances, and the ultimate unity of all things in Universal Being. In Jesus? teaching, unjustified anger is a positive evil, equal in spiritual effect to murder, positioning the soul in deep need of forgiveness and healing. So which model is better? Which does a person follow? Is not some anger justified? Is it really ?good? to not be angry at, say, genocide, treating it as merely an illusion, just an alternate expression of the Universal Consciousness? However you come out on the issue, there is a real difference in the two systems, so I respectfully disagree with your premise; I do not believe following either system yields an equally ?good? person, because the systems differ so fundamentally as to what ?goodness? is. But if one considers Jesus? claim to be the sole and exclusive savior of humankind, the problem of reconciling the two systems becomes dramatically worse. If God were to appear in a unique way in one human individual, and were to deliver a specific message identifying his own redemptive plan as the sole valid means of reconciliation with God, what would be a ?good? response to that message? Would it not be to believe it? To teach it to others? By contrast, would God consider it ?good? to intentionally delete the exclusivist features of the message based on personal discomfort with those aspects of the message? Would deliberate suppression of necessary but unpleasant truths really be ?good?? I cannot see how it could possibly work. So I guess we have to agree to disagree. Christians are simply being consistent with goodness as Jesus defined it when they assign evil behavior to a spiritual root which Jesus is uniquely qualified to correct. However, as you have said, there comes a point when you realize the back and forth has run its course. Still, I want you to know I have enjoyed our discussion, and I wish you well on your journey. Peace

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Hebrews don't have a word for Stegosaurus so they chose to leave that part out after the Censors hit their writings and condemned all of them as Blaspheme. :) The main problem was that the Hebrews Elders didn't like the fact that their God had to create a Superior creature to man so they where responsible for exterminating it. A few million years after they pushed the Big Lizards to extinction some bright spark though I had better write that down but what is a HUM? So they just forgot about the whole silly idea. ;) I bet you didn't know that there was Blaspheme prior to Pauline Christian Teaching did you? :p Col ]:)

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the bible? On the 8th day god created the stegosaurus .. why? Les.

JimInPA
JimInPA

Obviously you didn't read the content of all of my posts. I have read the book and I am quite familiar with the teachings of Jesus as I spent the first 30 years of my life in the christian church first as a methodist then in the church of the brethren. My point with injecting Buddah in the discussion was not that he and Jesus are similar but rather, if you were to follow the teachs of either you would be a fundamentally good person. Surely you can not argue that point. You did point out a typo that I did not realize was there. I meant to say that you should concern yourself with your own sins and not the sins of other, not that you should not concern yourself with your own sins. I am sorry if I was unable to convey my point. I popped off at the first gentleman without collecting my thoughts. Let's see if I can manage it now. I certainly did not intend to come off as condemning anyone. If you have a strong faith then no doubt you are good person and a real asset to society. My point and problem simply was this, Mr. Weir implied that the reason that your boss may be bad or cruel or otherwise is because he did not have faith or accept Jesus. ( I know I am paraphrasing but I'm trying to stay brief). I do not believe this to be true. Someone who is not a christian can choose to be a good person on their own by making the choice to do so.

jsbell
jsbell

Jimmy-jam, you said: "By calling me a sinner would that not be considered passing judgement on me? I thought God said judgement is mine so then would that not be a sin? I'm so confused.." And later you said: "should you not concern yourself with your own sin and not concern yourself with the sins of others?" So when you say you are not "extolling the ills of passing judgement on others," you confuse me, because those earlier statements do appear to be saying it is objectively wrong to judge others for their bad behavior. In the first statement you equate that kind of judging with sin, as if Christians should regard it as hypocritical, and in the second you suggest what you believe to be a superior approach, implying the inferiority of the Christian approach. I don't have a problem with your right to make these assertions, but no reasonable reader can look at them without seeing condemnation of a specific Christian practice. Therefore my point (that your condemnation of Christians for condemning sin is at best logically inconsistent) stands. Furthermore, if you really think there would be no practical difference between following the teaching of Buddha vs. the teaching of Jesus, I must conclude you are unfamiliar with the teaching of Jesus that he alone offered a means of reconciliation with God. Unlike the Buddha, Jesus teaches we have a deep-seated aversion to good which must be addressed before we can be at peace with our Creator, and that only he can correct the condition via a specific miracle he described as a second birth. So you see, Christians are not wandering off and inventing this exclusionary effect you find you so repulsive. It is inherent in the teaching of Jesus, and cannot be separated from him. He is the originator of it, and it is really the reason he was crucified. The religious leaders of his day were also repulsed by the idea that they specifically needed his cure for their sin-sick soul. Objectively, they failed, because he rose from the dead, which both totally condemned their reaction to him, and which convincingly verified his claim to be the exclusive source of redemption. You say you dislike religious discussion because it is hard to keep it objective. I agree. But with respect to the teachings of Jesus, that is an objectively available source of data, and whether Jesus' teaching contains a claim to exclusivity and is the primary source of related beliefs and practices among Christians is a question that one should be able to answer on an objective basis. Give it a try sometime. Read the Book.

seanferd
seanferd

Of course, anyone is free to exclude himself, but no Kool-Aid is being served, that I am aware of. It's all just a bunch of banter from back in winter (Northern Hemisphere), when "Is Google a God" had some folks in an uproar, and jardinier was posting other religion/god threads, and Pond Scum changed his name to The Scummy One (aka w2ktechman), yadda yadda. It was fun at the time, and I still enjoy Scum, as well as the Church of the Subgenius, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and others. Scum isn't as developed a "religion" as some, you you can always pray to The Scummy One for tips on Break Administrator Password. I know of no other faith that provides a response to that. :)

JimInPA
JimInPA

Is it an exclusive club? All I know is I'm not drinking any Kool-Aid...

JimInPA
JimInPA

I'm not sure it's important that I do. This is the reason I try to stay out of discussions involving religion and broke my own rule on this one. Unlike a political discussion you may be able to make points that could change someone's mind or make them see things in a different way. I would certainly never attempt to change anyone's mind on religous beleifs nor would I want to. I was in a particularly snarky mood on Friday when I started that and like most individuals of my gender, didn't think before I spoke. :D

seanferd
seanferd

Scum is self-installing per user discretion. Perhaps support may be provided, perhaps updates, but you will not receive calls from salesman.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Can't you guys keep up with the money, or what? :D

seanferd
seanferd

Automatic sinner status. ** If you are not an Apostle of Scum, please destroy this message, or alternatively, tack it to a phone pole.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Don't mind me. Just fiddling with my logic cube.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

No logic here warning. I can't quite judge others if I am guilty of the same as they. Mote, beam, etc... That's where I get the notion that I better not judge. Sinners, or others.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

that particular God also said 'All have sinned...' Obviously mis-construed by the above poster. FWIW. Confusion is in the eye of the non-nitpicker. :D

JimInPA
JimInPA

I don't walk around extolling the ills of passing judgement on others therefore I fail to see th wrong in what I said. Let me point out that I spent 30 years in the christian church and it is that experience that has brought me to the opinion I have today. I do realize not all christians are false hypocrits. I will not disagree with you that if everyone emulated the teachings of Jeusus (you will notice that out of respect in all my posts to this point Jesus and God are capitolized) that the world would be a better place, but coult it not also be said that if everyone followed the teaching of buddah that the same result could be acheived? I will never condemn anyone for being a christian, what I find repulsive is the belief that the solution to every problem is generically assigned and the OP what attempting to blame the fact that his (or anyone's) boss is a jerk is because humans are inherantly evil and the only way out is by accepting Jesus. Human behavior is a matter of personal choice no matter your theological beliefs.

jsbell
jsbell

Jimmy, by evaluating Christians negatively for their theory of evil, are you not "judging" them? There is no reasonable escape from evaluating the behavior of others. What we do with that evaluation is what is really important, and it is more to the point of Jesus' teaching about judging others. If we see bad behavior, as we understand God's evaluation of that behavior, we are not "judging" per se, but just agreeing with God's assertion: Behavior X is bad. If we start making up our own flimsy rules for judging intrinsic goodness or badness, or if we use God's rule abusively, to position ourselves as superior, then we violate the principle Jesus was teaching. Therefore, it is not a spirit of judgment but a spirit of harmony that truthfully identifies bad behavior. You know that pointing out a problem in a constructive way can reduce the effect of that problem. Christians point out that all humans, under the right conditions, will fall short of the standard of decency and harmlessness that should be true of all of us. We are not all we could be. You can call this sin, or moral imperfection, or whatever, but the principle is the same, and it is universal to the human experience. Furthermore, it does not negate our personal responsibility for choosing to do good, no more than the universality of a disease would justify abandoning a search for a cure. And Christians do believe there is a cure for moral imperfection and all its ugly consequences. Is it really so wrong to look to Jesus for that cure? Based on his life and teaching, I would say he really gets it, and that would be worth emulating.

JimInPA
JimInPA

should you not concern yourself with your own sin and not concern yourself with the sins of others?

knucklhead
knucklhead

The assertion that all are sinners allows for the passing of judgement since the judge is a sinner (needing to fill a quiota?).

JimInPA
JimInPA

By calling me a sinner would that not be considered passing judgement on me? I thought God said judgement is mine so then would that not be a sin? I'm so confused... :0 heh heh.. I fear I may have opened a can of worms. ]:)

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