| Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 06:32 pm |
Guidelines for forum posting:
The main purpose of my hosting these forums is to promote the sharing of ideas within the context of the cause of liberty. This does not mean, however, that all free speech is tolerated. After all, this is a private property site and total freedom of speech is only available on one's own property. On other's property we must comply with the owners guidelines. Since this property belongs to me, I would like to set down the following guidelines for civil expression, especially when there are differences of opinion.
1. I prefer that all postings stay at least partially connected to the theme of liberty. Safety, security, politics, law, philosophy, economics, and moral values are all connected in many ways to liberty. Religious issues are also core issues underlying liberty and are thus fair game for discussion--especially where divine guidance is at issue relative to the establishment of liberty, God's laws, and how man perceives truth in this world. But it is inappropriate to delve into discussions of technical differences of religious ordinances, excessive scriptural interpretation (word nit-picking), worship services, or disparaging other religions by calling them "cults," "deviant" or "apostate." This forum is not the proper venue to proselyte, call to repentance, nor denigrate others. These kinds of attitudes lead too easily to offense and do not add to our mutual understanding. When religious postings move far afield from the focus of this forum, they unduly waste the time of the webmaster who reads all posts, and others who come to these forums to learn about securing liberty. Obviously, there’s a lot of room for interpretation here. It is a general guideline only, so try to be sensitive to it rather than push the limits.
2. Controversy and debate are welcome in these discussion forums. I want to encourage rigorous thinking and analysis--not simple repetition of mindless generalities. Be prepared to defend your position with good reasons and evidence. If other's demonstrate the better case, and it is confirmed by what you feel inside to be true, don't be afraid to admit you were wrong, or that your ideas have been modified--this is a characteristic of every mature seeker of truth. I consider spiritual perceptions and feelings as valid evidence, as well--but feelings should be presented only as additional evidence, not as "proofs." Let each listener determine what he feels is true as he interacts with the promptings of conscience.
3. Participants are free to vigorously debate the issues, but not denigrate the speaker, personally. This will be ruled as uncivil behavior. You can label arguments as bad, illogical, or even irrational but, please, no name calling or other negative personal references, ie: "you're stupid, an idiot, a dummy, or duped," even if true! That's part of being civil. Some labeling is permitted if it is accurate and helps the person understand that there is a general term for his ideas, as a whole (i.e.: libertarian, globalist, socialist, Marxist etc.) but try to use qualifiers whenever appropriate such as, "partial" or "most of the time" to help other recognize you aren't making overly broad accusations. Extreme pejorative personal labels or adjectives such as Satanist, traitor, or foul curse words are strictly forbidden. I don't like to see the Lord's name taken in vain either.
4. My Webmaster is the judge of these matters. He's a fine and fair person and dedicates his time without charge because of his devotion to the cause of liberty. This forum could not take place without his sacrifice, so we owe him a lot. I want everyone to be respectful of his position. If he feels a single person is out of line with these guidelines, he will warn that individual and give him a chance to rephrase his language or have the post deleted. If several persons are engaging in incivility, he may issue a public warning inside the thread as well. Individuals who persist in vile or uncivil language, despite his warnings, may be blocked from posting until a change of behavior is agreed upon. If an entire thread gets way too far afield and, in his judgment, unproductive to the overall theme of liberty, he has the authority to shut down the entire thread. If you disagree, take your arguments to him privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't post your complaints about my Webmaster on the forums.
I am available to arbitrate any serious disagreement over interpretation of the guidelines--but be considerate of my limited time. My intervention should not be necessary if each of us considers the spirit of the principles I've laid out rather than the letter alone. Above all, I want everyone to be fairly treated and encouraged in his or her sincere expressions of belief that foster liberty in doing what is right.
| Friday, May 07, 2004 - 03:30 pm |
Now that the World Affairs Brief has its own website (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com/) subscribers have been given a password to access the briefs there. That password will gain access to the WAB forum here. Public reading of all posts in other forums is allowed. To post however, users need to sign up for a profile by clicking on the User Profile link and filling out the information required.