Rules for Respectful Discussions

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 2:22 pm 

I hope such a meta-discussion isn't to volatile, but this does seem to be an appropriate venue for discussing the more specific ethics regarding discussion itself. I confess this is part of an ongoing dialogue between Athena and myself. In any case, I proposed these as rules for respectful discussion, and thought I should get more feedback than just from Athena alone.

So as I suggested before, what we could do is try to find out what sort of rules we would agree upon as part of respectful discussion. So I shall throw a few out there and see if there are any you agree with.

1. We do not call the other person derogatory names.
2. We do not say that they are lacking in intelligence or good moral character. This does not include judgments regarding what they say for smart people can say stupid things and people of good moral character can say things which have terrible implications for morality. We can point these things out assuming their intelligence and good moral character will recognize the mistake in their words.
3. We do not attribute words of our own choosing to them, dictating what they think or say but stick to the words they have posted without altering them in any way.
4. We do not say they believe or support a particular position which they have not specifically stated they believe or support without overwhelming evidence provided.
5. We confine our responses to the particular topic of discussion and do not wander off into disputes from other threads or launch into discussion of a personal nature seeing it as our job to improve their character.
6. We try to address what people are saying rather than focus upon or complain about how they are saying it.
7. We do not state guesses about their personal lives as fact just because our imagination suggests such a thing, deluding ourselves that an internet discussion can possibly be enough to come to such conclusions.

There is a start... what do you think?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 4:32 pm 

Clarification:

My list above and intent is in the spirit of investigation, to see what sort of things people would agree regarding what respectful discussion consists of. It has been my observation and argument that these are things that vary considerably with culture and even personal family experience. Thus I think it is more helpful to ask people what they think "respectful discussion" means rather than making assumptions. Thus it is my expectation that some might disagree on some of the rules I listed and others might feel very strongly that more rules should be included which are not in my list.

It should be noted that the forum has its own list and I very much agree that the first three are indeed applicable to this topic as rules for respectful discussions. The fourth is more guidelines for this particular forum rather than rules for respectful discussion in general.

Forum Etiquette

We expect all members to conduct themselves in a manner which encourages growth in our community, and fosters an atmosphere of learning.

I - Abusive behavior is strictly prohibited. Obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any communication through our forums which threatens, belittles, or otherwise demeans our members will not be tolerated.

II - Personal attacks are strictly prohibited. While it's normal for debates to sometimes grow heated, all comments should remain focused on the actual theories being presented, and/or the responses to challenges from fellow posters. We do not tolerate posts which demean another user on a personal level.

III - Offensive comments referring to a person's gender, race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation made with the intent to offend are strictly prohibited. Using offensive language may result in the termination of your account.

IV - General disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Disruptive behaviors include the following

a) Posts deemed by the moderators to be devoid of any intelligent content.

b) Repeated refusal to cite sources or other evidence to support your claims.

c) Repeated refusal to respond to a moderators request.

d) We do not provide a medium for circular debates which have no end. If a debate has gone on a significant length of time, and the moderators feel that it's going nowhere, they are charged with refocusing the debate, or when that fails, to end it. If a thread is locked, do not start a new thread resurrecting old issues.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby wolfhnd on July 11th, 2017, 7:09 pm 

I had not noticed a problem. I have been on the receiving end of this sort of thing in the past but it really is pretty easy to ignore as long as it isn't coming from a moderator who's purpose is to covertly silence someone.

My best friend and I always throw insults at each other in heated debate. It takes the edge off of the discussion and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. It all depends on the intent, if it is intended to drive someone away from the discussion or is malicious that is a different matter. If you read too much into a little sarcasm you are likely going to miss out on the best discussions in your life.

The suppression of open debate is one of the purposes of political correctness. It is a technique outlined in Rules for Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky. It is something worth considering anytime you want to establish a "safe space". That doesn't mean that insulting people is acceptable only that it is easy for good intentions to pave the road to hell.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby Lomax on July 11th, 2017, 7:26 pm 

The rules seem mostly fine. I look forward to you following the part of rule 3 about dictating what other people think.

mitchellmckain » July 7th, 2017, 1:00 am wrote:Incorrect. Because terrorism was NOT defined as the use of force but the use of violence for a specific purpose. It only falls under the definition when you equivocate force with violence and completely ignore (for the purpose of empty rhetoric alone) the part about the purpose for which it is used.

To illustrate with another example. Bank robbers use force to get the money in a bank. Sure they create fear in order to manipulate people but that was not how terrorism was defined either. Bank robbers are not terrorists. They may be equally contemptible but they are still not terrorists because they don't fit the definition. You keep leaving out key features of the definition to suit the purpose of empty rhetoric.

(My italics.)
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 9:15 pm 

Lomax » July 11th, 2017, 6:26 pm wrote:The rules seem mostly fine. I look forward to you following the part of rule 3 about dictating what other people think.

mitchellmckain » July 7th, 2017, 1:00 am wrote:Incorrect. Because terrorism was NOT defined as the use of force but the use of violence for a specific purpose. It only falls under the definition when you equivocate force with violence and completely ignore (for the purpose of empty rhetoric alone) the part about the purpose for which it is used.

To illustrate with another example. Bank robbers use force to get the money in a bank. Sure they create fear in order to manipulate people but that was not how terrorism was defined either. Bank robbers are not terrorists. They may be equally contemptible but they are still not terrorists because they don't fit the definition. You keep leaving out key features of the definition to suit the purpose of empty rhetoric.

(My italics.)


But this statement you quoted is ENTIRELY about what you actually said. You ignored aspects of the definition to make it fit and that suited no purpose but empty rhetoric.

Anyway this comment is COMPLETELY off topic for this thread.

This thread is not about who did what, but about what rules you think make for a respectful discussion. Ok, so maybe you agree on rule 3, OR do you just mean that you would like other people to limit themselves in such a way while you are free to whatever you like? It is NOT about the rules. I have no complaint about the rules whatsoever. The purpose of the thread is ONLY to explore what "respectful discussion" means to people!

Apparently I was right to fear that people would not even be able to discuss this topic objectively. Oh well... No doubt if it continues in this way the moderators will shut it down. I hope they give it one more chance for the discussion to turn around.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby Lomax on July 11th, 2017, 9:24 pm 

There you go again. Imputing motives to others. How does this reconcile with your rule 3?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 9:27 pm 

Lomax » July 11th, 2017, 8:24 pm wrote:There you go again. Imputing motives to others. How does this reconcile with your rule 3?


I did not impute any motives to you. I asked you to keep to the topic of the thread and make an actual statement about what rules you agree with and what you do not!

Can we take it that you do not agree with number 5 since you are dragging us into a dispute from another thread?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby wolfhnd on July 11th, 2017, 9:28 pm 

Objectivity appears to be subjective. The point I was trying to make is that not everything you find offensive is worthy of not just shaking off and it is dangerous to assume the intentions of others. Turning the forums into a police state so as to assure no one's feelings will be hurt is likely to do nothing but reduce participation.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 9:32 pm 

wolfhnd » July 11th, 2017, 8:28 pm wrote:The point I was trying to make is that not everything you find offensive is worthy of not just shaking off and it is dangerous to assume the intentions of others. Turning the forums into a police state so as to assure no one's feelings will be hurt is likely to do nothing but reduce participation.


I agree.

But why does an exploration of what we think a "respectful discussion" means equate to a police state.

Why is this discussion forbidden? Is it because people don't like turning an analytical eye upon themselves perhaps?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby Lomax on July 11th, 2017, 9:52 pm 

mitchellmckain » July 12th, 2017, 2:27 am wrote:
Lomax » July 11th, 2017, 8:24 pm wrote:There you go again. Imputing motives to others. How does this reconcile with your rule 3?


I did not impute any motives to you. I asked you to keep to the topic of the thread and make an actual statement about what rules you agree with and what you do not!

Can we take it that you do not agree with number 5 since you are dragging us into a dispute from another thread?

"You ignored aspects of the definition to make it fit" is an imputation of motive. Yes, I dissent from number 5. I think that when material from another thread is related, there is no reason why it shouldn't be linked, just as related outside material might be. And I see no problem with considering number 3 in the context of a concrete example.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 9:53 pm 

Is the difficulty with this topic that people are suspicious of my motivation?

I have no desire whatsoever to accuse anyone of breaking any of these rules.

So why did I raise this topic?

Well frankly it came from Athena constant harping on respectful discussion without once addressing the question of what a respectful discussion consists of. I even said she should suggest some rules so we could explore what we agreed upon and what we did not agree. She never did so I took it on myself to make this effort. The rules above were simply those which occurred to me when thinking about what how a "respectful discussion" should be described. I do not even claim this is definitive, just a preliminary effort only to get the discussion going.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby wolfhnd on July 11th, 2017, 9:58 pm 

mitchellmckain » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:32 am wrote:
wolfhnd » July 11th, 2017, 8:28 pm wrote:The point I was trying to make is that not everything you find offensive is worthy of not just shaking off and it is dangerous to assume the intentions of others. Turning the forums into a police state so as to assure no one's feelings will be hurt is likely to do nothing but reduce participation.


I agree.

But why does an exploration of what we think a "respectful discussion" means equate to a police state.

Why is this discussion forbidden? Is it because people don't like turning an analytical eye upon themselves perhaps?


Could be because we see the pernicious effect of good intentions to limit free speech on university campuses. If you have read the Soviet Union's constitution and looked at the actual conditions people lived under it becomes clear why liberal democracies are horrible places where no one is safe from being verbally attacked but paradoxically are the best places to live. Creating set of rules is meaningless without enforcement. Who and how the rules are enforced is the complicated part. Not to mention that prohibition has repeatedly proved to create more problems than it solves. Exhibit A and B are the18th amendment and the war on drugs.

I'm an authoritarian and moral busybody by nature but I see the flaws in this approach to social interaction.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 9:59 pm 

....so.... can I assume everyone would agree on number 1? Maybe???


Can anyone see something important left out from either my list plus the three from the forum rules?


Any others than 5 which people have an objection to, or need to modify in some way?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 10:13 pm 

wolfhnd » July 11th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:
Could be because we see the pernicious effect of good intentions to limit free speech on university campuses.


Is this a reference to the demand by students not to be limited to the rational discourse but expecting the freedom to simply throw obsenities at people without allowing them to voice their own point of view?

If you think that is a limit of free speech then I quite disagree. That is opposed to free speech rather than in defense of it. Free speech is by definition a freedom for everyone to voice their point of view not a freedom by some to suppress the views of others.

wolfhnd » July 11th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote: If you have read the Soviet Union's constitution and looked at the actual conditions people lived under it becomes clear why liberal democracies are horrible places where no one is safe from being verbally attacked but paradoxically are the best places to live. Creating set of rules is meaningless without enforcement.

That is debatable. BUT it is even more ludicrous to talk about enforcement when you don't even have an agreement about what the rules should be. Prohibition is a excellent example of what happens when you try to enforce rules that most people do not agree with.

Furthermore the question of enforcement adds an entirely different dimension to the question. Not everything is enforceable, even when the vast majority of people do agree about it.


wolfhnd » July 11th, 2017, 8:58 pm wrote:I'm an authoritarian and moral busybody by nature but I see the flaws in this approach to social interaction.

I would say that I am as far from authoritarian and moral busybody as you can get by nature and by practice. I also see the flaws. But I see nothing wrong with exploring what different people mean by the words "respectful discussion." Some people apparently have very strong ideas about what this means and I would like to hear what they are and see if I agree with any of it.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 11th, 2017, 10:26 pm 

mitchellmckain » July 11th, 2017, 8:53 pm wrote:Is the difficulty with this topic that people are suspicious of my motivation?

I have no desire whatsoever to accuse anyone of breaking any of these rules.

So why did I raise this topic?


I suppose one "ulterior motive" was to demonstrate that this is not easy topic on which everyone agrees about completely. This has been the point I have been trying to make to Athena for a long time.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby wolfhnd on July 11th, 2017, 11:51 pm 

I don't have strong feelings about it I just think it is unnecessary. If you don't think someone is fallowing the existing (adequate) rules report them to a mod.

Now I have never reported anyone but I have had private communications for clarification. It is all about the level and nature not the fact of trolling

You miss understand the analogy to what is going on on our universities. Neither this forum nor a university is a home or safe space. If you can't take a little mockery where the stakes are so low you are not prepared for the wider world. Utopias tend to turn into hell on earth.

I have no problem with the way these forums are moderated but in the past the greatest problems were caused by someone engaged in a social justice campaign. I'm only saying be careful what you wish for.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby Don Juan on July 12th, 2017, 12:21 am 

mitchellmckain » July 11th, 2017, 8:22 pm wrote:1. We do not call the other person derogatory names.


Though I do want to apply this to my own expressions, I do not want to restrict others with it. They can call me names, they are free, because I do not give much emotional load to calling names and what is important to me is the content of arguments. Calling me names is an added information about the person I am discussing with that I can use.

2. We do not say that they are lacking in intelligence or good moral character. This does not include judgments regarding what they say for smart people can say stupid things and people of good moral character can say things which have terrible implications for morality. We can point these things out assuming their intelligence and good moral character will recognize the mistake in their words.


Same with 1.

3. We do not attribute words of our own choosing to them, dictating what they think or say but stick to the words they have posted without altering them in any way.


Same with 1. But how will you verify that you understand the other person's concepts? Are concepts in one to one correspondence with words? Possibly we can ask permission or verification, if whether our words match with their concepts?

4. We do not say they believe or support a particular position which they have not specifically stated they believe or support without overwhelming evidence provided.


What do you mean by overwhelming evidence? How much information do we need in order to sense that the other person is supporting a particular position? Possibly we can verify?

5. We confine our responses to the particular topic of discussion and do not wander off into disputes from other threads or launch into discussion of a personal nature seeing it as our job to improve their character.


Same with 1, I want to implement this to myself, but I do not want to restrict other behaviors with it. It will not damage me or my argument in a place like this, a philosophy forum.

6. We try to address what people are saying rather than focus upon or complain about how they are saying it.


Same with 1, but sometimes checking how something is said may help to deciphering the content.

7. We do not state guesses about their personal lives as fact just because our imagination suggests such a thing, deluding ourselves that an internet discussion can possibly be enough to come to such conclusions.


Same with 1.

My point is, I do want to access maximum information from anyone I would have discussion with and there can be many strategies to do it. I do not care about ego, I can leave it or I can use it, what matters is the information gathering I will be doing. I can be polite, indifferent, or rude, depending on the context and purpose, but usually, its maximum information. Sometimes, I love chaos, there can be many hidden patterns in it.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby BadgerJelly on July 12th, 2017, 4:27 am 

mitchellmckain » July 12th, 2017, 2:22 am wrote:I hope such a meta-discussion isn't to volatile, but this does seem to be an appropriate venue for discussing the more specific ethics regarding discussion itself. I confess this is part of an ongoing dialogue between Athena and myself. In any case, I proposed these as rules for respectful discussion, and thought I should get more feedback than just from Athena alone.

So as I suggested before, what we could do is try to find out what sort of rules we would agree upon as part of respectful discussion. So I shall throw a few out there and see if there are any you agree with.

1. We do not call the other person derogatory names.
2. We do not say that they are lacking in intelligence or good moral character. This does not include judgments regarding what they say for smart people can say stupid things and people of good moral character can say things which have terrible implications for morality. We can point these things out assuming their intelligence and good moral character will recognize the mistake in their words.
3. We do not attribute words of our own choosing to them, dictating what they think or say but stick to the words they have posted without altering them in any way.
4. We do not say they believe or support a particular position which they have not specifically stated they believe or support without overwhelming evidence provided.
5. We confine our responses to the particular topic of discussion and do not wander off into disputes from other threads or launch into discussion of a personal nature seeing it as our job to improve their character.
6. We try to address what people are saying rather than focus upon or complain about how they are saying it.
7. We do not state guesses about their personal lives as fact just because our imagination suggests such a thing, deluding ourselves that an internet discussion can possibly be enough to come to such conclusions.

There is a start... what do you think?


1- I like pigs I think they are great. So you are a pig!
2- That is, in my opinion, a terrible moral position to start from.
3- That depends on what you mean by this? Are you saying we must all adhere to these rules or merely use the, for guidance? Under whose authority? Is this what you are saying?
4- If you believe this is so then must we do it?
5- We should not expand and explore the topic? We should not question and come to understand the views of others by questioning their moral positions and character? (refer to 3).
6- So if you have deemed what I feel is a good point I should not help you refine it and present it in a better way? I should refrain from offering critique?
7- We should stop being human and pretend we contain no bias of thought and imagine the people we are speaking to are floating in the void?

Hope you find this useful.

One thing I find to be very useful is to guard against being offended by what someone says. All to often discussions can become a slanging match.

When something looks purposely offensive I try to assume there is a point behind the venomous words displayed. Offense is a rhetorical tool and a political necessity (political meaning in the broader, ancient, sense of human interaction, the general public). When discussing with people I have taken on many different approaches and softly, softly doesn't always work. I have had people antagonize me and I have found it useful in the long run on occasion. I am not defending offensive language for the sake of it, I am just saying we shouldn't be too quick to try and not offend especially if we find this rhetorical tool helps expose a certain stark truth we see.

It is good to assume that any offensive comment is driven at its heart by something considered to be true by the person saying it. In the case where the person saying it doesn't believe it to be true we can then assume they are either encouraging us to counter their uncertain views or to play the part of Devil's Advocate and explore counter arguments that can be posed against them (this is the biggest benefit of the debate - we don't need to believe in something to pose an argument for it, this technique at least encourages us to go into uncharted territory; albeit with a certain amount of bias in tow).
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 12th, 2017, 12:35 pm 

I am getting that a lot of people hate the idea of rules of any kind. Perhaps I should suggest they try to explain or describe what "respectful discussion" means without the use of any rules. Or is there an aversion to the idea of being respectful? Perhaps a definition of this which explains your dislike of the idea might be helpful. And then there is the possibility that people don't like any such measure of discussions at all to say that some discussions are better than others by such a thing. In that case, maybe it would be helpful to have an explanation of what a discussion is good for which might defy any such measurements. For example, it seems to me that the primary purpose of discussion is communication and all discussions of every kind communicate something and perhaps any sort of rules or measures act to limit communication and thus could be considered to be opposed in principle to the very purpose of discussion itself. What do you think?
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby wolfhnd on July 12th, 2017, 12:56 pm 

This whole discussion seems to ignore that there are existing rules that get enforce when necessary. The when necessary is the important part because the mods have lives. Even if the rules were enforced without exception the total elimination of trolls is impossible. I would rather the mods devote their limited free time to discussion than policing the forums.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 12th, 2017, 2:07 pm 

wolfhnd » July 12th, 2017, 11:56 am wrote:This whole discussion seems to ignore that there are existing rules that get enforce when necessary. The when necessary is the important part because the mods have lives. Even if the rules were enforced without exception the total elimination of trolls is impossible. I would rather the mods devote their limited free time to discussion than policing the forums.


That is because the rules of this forum is not the subject of this thread. This is in the ethics section because this is a purely theoretical discussion on what a "respectful discussion" means. A moderator made the same mistake and briefly moved it before moving it back when he understood my intent. I have taken GREAT pains to explain my intent over and over and over. But the people keep insisting this is some kind of complaint about the rules no matter how times I deny this and explain my intent. It really is VERY VERY frustrating! I repeat -- WHY can't we simply talk about what a respectful discussion means without making this into some kind of big battle over how the forum is run.

I have absolutely NO DESIRE to change how the forum is run. I have absolutely NO DESIRE to change how the forum is run. I have absolutely NO DESIRE to change how the forum is run.

Can we not simply discuss what is a respectful discussion? PLEASE!

If you want to discuss how the forum is run then please start another thread so the mods and move it to where it belongs. And by the way I will not participate because I am not interested in the slightest.

What am I interested in?

Can people explain or describe what "respectful discussion" means without the use of any rules.

Can you define "respectful" in way which explains your dislike of the idea?

Can you explain what a discussion is good for which might defy any such measurements such as "respectful".

What do you think of my idea that the primary purpose of discussion is communication and all discussions of every kind communicate something and perhaps any sort of rules or measures act to limit communication and thus could be considered to be opposed in principle to the very purpose of discussion itself.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby BadgerJelly on July 12th, 2017, 2:41 pm 

An awful lot is to do with familiarity. I would say certain things to members are am more familiar with than with someone new to the site. Every site has a certain "community" and getting a feel of the different members is probably what we really mean about being "respectful"?

It is a really interesting topic!

Everyone's tastes differ too, and maybe from day-to-day. Sometimes I like to engage in a debate and other times I am more likely to be more freer and blithe in the way I put things across.

Generally if someone asks you to voice your opinion about their thoughts on X and they are VERY specific about what they are asking for, you should respect their wishes and attempt to give what they are asking for before giving your own take on a related subject. This is not a rule more something of a self-checking system we all fail at some point and find ourselves stuck on this or that subject due to what we've recently been reading/studying.

I think mitch's set of guidelines are ones we all generally try to remember. For different people they may shift. If I feel that being more caustic in my remarks helps get the point across I will try this.

Like Annie Lennox says "Some of them want to abuse you. Some of them want to be abused." I would be lying if I said I was not guilty of both of these at some point. Some subjects make us feel under attack and other more comfortable. I really think on this kind of forum it is the tough and demanding questions that really bring out reactions. Strong feelings and passions can tell us a great deal about our own biases and beliefs. They can help reveal points we need to work on in our presentation and/or reasoning.
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Re: Rules for Respectful Discussions

Postby mitchellmckain on July 12th, 2017, 4:15 pm 

BadgerJelly » July 12th, 2017, 1:41 pm wrote:An awful lot is to do with familiarity. I would say certain things to members are am more familiar with than with someone new to the site. Every site has a certain "community" and getting a feel of the different members is probably what we really mean about being "respectful"?

Would it be a correct, close, or approximate paraphrase that "respectful" means wanting to know a person for who they are and how they think and feel? Then our success in expressing respectfulness would be in how much we succeed in showing others that this is what we want.

BadgerJelly » July 12th, 2017, 1:41 pm wrote:Generally if someone asks you to voice your opinion about their thoughts on X and they are VERY specific about what they are asking for, you should respect their wishes and attempt to give what they are asking for before giving your own take on a related subject. This is not a rule more something of a self-checking system we all fail at some point and find ourselves stuck on this or that subject due to what we've recently been reading/studying.

I confess to feeling a little hypocritical in pushing this discussion in the direction I want it to go because I don't like it all that much when other people do it. Normally, I wouldn't and haven't. But I feel this thread is difficult in many ways and presenting a number of different challenges to myself if not to others. Maybe this will teach me to be more understanding when I see others doing it.

BadgerJelly » July 12th, 2017, 1:41 pm wrote:I think mitch's set of guidelines are ones we all generally try to remember. For different people they may shift. If I feel that being more caustic in my remarks helps get the point across I will try this.

Hmmm... yes! You might notice I said nothing about being nice in my ad-hoc set of rules. It is certainly my experience that communication tends to require a bit conflict as people work through a process of identifying and addressing conflicting assumptions.

BadgerJelly » July 12th, 2017, 1:41 pm wrote:Like Annie Lennox says "Some of them want to abuse you. Some of them want to be abused." I would be lying if I said I was not guilty of both of these at some point. Some subjects make us feel under attack and other more comfortable.

Perhaps I am blind to it but I can neither understand such inclinations or see it in myself. Perhaps I am simply not accepting of such motivations but have a strong feeling of revulsion for them. It is not that I doubt they are there somewhere, but I may have such an habitual refusal to engage with them that I do not see it. Or perhaps it is a measure of how much I live in my head (analytical thought) that I cannot see what I cannot understand.

BadgerJelly » July 12th, 2017, 1:41 pm wrote:I really think on this kind of forum it is the tough and demanding questions that really bring out reactions. Strong feelings and passions can tell us a great deal about our own biases and beliefs. They can help reveal points we need to work on in our presentation and/or reasoning.

I definitely think the reactions are instructive.
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