Forums’ rules and such

I have been involved in a couple of very good threads on Richard Dawkins’ forum.  Not yet as a subject matter expert, but in whatever contributions I may make in keeping the antagonist on track, logically.  I’ve learned very much.

First, they don’t tolerate ad hominem attacks.  At all.  Five warnings in a year and your banned.  Forever.  And woe to anyone who registers a different username and operates as a “sock puppet”.

The purpose is to promote the discussion of ideas, not attack the people.  Very effective.

Now, I fast forward to my hometown newspaper opinions page.  This was one of the first forums I started posting in regularly.  I have to report I have NEVER got an actual response that passed logical muster there to one of my comments.  Time and again, in the face of airtight logical constructs, the other common users there would usually simply ignore them and babble on, or they’d end up calling me names.

The last straw for me there was today.  One of the weekly contributors to the opinions section is apparently an old woman who writes the inspirational page for her church program.  That article gets published every Monday in the opinions section of the online paper.  Usually, I have nothing to say about them, it’s just an old woman preaching to the converted.

This week, there was a user that expressed his weariness for her articles.  Of course, another user chimed in with his defense of the little old christian lady, and called the other guy a few names.

I thought it time to comment how the little old lady wasn’t immune from comment in a public forum.  I also added that others’ criticism was just as valid as the tripe she regularly contributes.

The paper censored that post and didn’t publish it.

Clearly, I commented on her articles, and said nothing about her personally.  But apparently, in small town Wisconsin, the editors don’t bother themselves with a fair forum.  Faced with this, and the fact that I seem to be utterly wasting my time and effort there, I think I’ll just leave them to their own devices.

I am not sure at all that it is even possible to deconvert a true believer.  I think it is very unlikely and rare.

So, I will retire from reading and commenting on my hometown news.  I haven’t lived there in 27 years, I never will again.  I have no stake in what happens there.  It’s simply not worth the effort to comment in their online newspaper.

Instead, I’ll be found here and on other forums where the free exchange of ideas is the rule rather than the exception.  See you around.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 sycologist on 09.10.09 at 03:42

When ignorant people don’t like the arguments of others, they may then move on to attacking the person and even threatening them. It’s a dangerous world out there.

Leave a Comment