Cowpunk your question made me think of other internet places like this that I have left because some basic rules (dare I say courtesies?) were not met. I have no patience for rudeness and very little for willful ignorance so I think some basic rules are imporant even if they are unspoken. Still, having said that, I have met with nothing but adult behaviour since I got to this site. Lovely.
Mary Lupin, I hear you. I used to frequent a couple of atheist sites, and quit because people on the discussion boards were so nasty. Ad hominems abounded. People of colour didn't stick around. That's only the tip of the iceberg.
I agree! This site has been great. People are friendly and helpful.
I love to discuss ideas, any ideas, no matter how bizarre or repulsive. I have no problem (well, almost no problem) when people attack ideas, even if they're ones I cherish deeply. What shuts me down in a wink, however, is when people attack me personally because they dislike my ideas.
As for cursing, I'm not against it per se. I just think the best words should be trotted out only when really needed. That way they have the most impact.
So, I guess my two rules would be: stick to discussing ideas only, and curse only when you really mean it.
Totally agree about the ad hominem argument. When that happens I simply disengage from the person. It shows a lack of intelligence and a lack of integrity. I don't want to talk with people like that, there are too many worthwhile people with whom I can discuss things of substance.
I have one suggestion for a rule - and only one. Don't feed any trolls.
I watched several threads on another forum I frequent turn into name-calling contests until the moderators stepped and banned the main offenders. I would hate to see that here. At least they don't allow anonymous comments on this site - you must have an account.
I have seen the same thing and wondered about it. Why keep answering a troll when you know they are only there to disrupt things and there is no way to change their minds. It's like paying a blackmailer - you only guarantee they come back for more.
Is there something I'm missing, because I just don't get it.