Over the last few months, discussions on this board have become more heated and less friendly. Some posters have disparaged the motives and honesty of certain individuals. Furthermore, deliberately offensive language and comparisons have been used.
I would therefore ask that the following principles are observed by all posters. Ignoring these principles will lead to warnings and ultimately to the individuals concerned being banned.
- Do not call anyone dishonest, a liar or make other uncharitable comparisons. This includes comparing them to Nazis, Stalinists or any sort of criminal. Do not call people names that imply that they are mentally ill, incapacitated, criminal or deluded. This rule applies whether the individual concerned posts on this board or not.
- Assume good faith and observe the principle of charity. Assume disagreements are not due to wilful ignorance or malice.
- Do not circumvent these rules by replacing abstract nouns with collective nouns (ie, you should not say creationism is stupid or that creationists are stupid; atheism leads to murder or atheists lead to murder.)
- Do not use deliberately offensive language whether sacred or profane.
By way of example, you can say that intelligent design/Jesus not existing is wrong both in principle and in every detail. You should not say these things are stupid, deluded or dishonest. If someone misquotes a source or contradicts themselves, you should not say that this is because they are liars.
I don't mean to bring back old tensions, but one source of frustration I found in some of the more contentious threads was that many arguments, statements, and questions were ignored, sometimes deliberately. Often followed by "i'm not even going to bother" or "I can respond, but you won't listen anyway". The problem is that there are probably other people viewing the thread who are very interested in hearing a response to those specific ideas from those who have done more research.