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 Post subject: ATTENTION: Forum-specific Rules - Politics Forum
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:45 am 
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This forum is for the discussion of politics, current events, and topics involving news items or philosophical matters. Generally, this is a pretty serious place. That doesn't mean we have no room for humor, but spamming is strongly discouraged.

Members who are easily offended should expect to read things in here that they won't like. A lot of us have very strong disagreements about a variety of issues, but everyone is asked to please avoid flames, personal attacks or insults, and try to stay on topic with your posts.

Personal attacks and cheap insults directed at other members are considered poor debating form. However, attacking someone's ideas is fair game; after all, this is the arena of ideas. If you post a strong opinion, expect to have it challenged, and be prepared to defend it. Vigorous debate is encouraged, but members are also encouraged to separate their personal emotions from the give-and-take of ideas that happens in this forum. It is also prudent not to let an argument from this forum spill over into others, and color your relations with other forum members. And remember that respecting someone's opinion is not the same thing as agreeing with it.

All of this can be boiled down to one simple guideline: please try to show maturity, and think before you post.

Also, if you cite a fact or figure, or quote some information from an outside source, please include a link to the source you're referencing if at all possible, so that others can also research your information and draw their own conclusions. At the very least, please make a note as to where you're getting your information from.

Finally, here is something that was forwarded to me a few years ago, an excerpt from "Choice and Diversity" by Dennis Byrne. I think it sums things up pretty well and sets a good standard for this forum to follow.

You remember "choice"? It is the highest of today's values, and if we must have it full blossom in our cultural life, our quality of life and in our reproductive life, then why should we be denied it in our political life? When "diversity" is an ideal increasingly being installed into law and court decisions as society's ideal, why doesn't diversity in political opinion and intellectual discourse receive the same respect?

Instead, disagreement in political discourse has been elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Those who stand by their principles and strong beliefs are the enemies of harmony. And, the irony is, those who don't harmonize must be banished. Yes, some of us actually believe that the fashionable warning about "polarization" is a load of hogwash. To us, the beatification of the Political Middle is raw political strategy, designed to make your opponent appear loopy or even dangerous. Those who deify "moderation" reek of a certain intellectual snobbery and self-satisfaction. As if they are saying, "Thanks to us, democracy works. Thanks to us, reason reigns. We are the bulwark against those who would divide the country, not unite it. Thanks to us, the fruitcakes don't run things."

Of course, democracy requires consensus and compromise. George Washington was right when he warned that factions could have torn apart our infant republic. But an opposite and equal danger also threatens. Pragmatism. A growing political agnosticism insists that strong convictions are destructive of the political process. Expediency shoving aside moral and ethical convictions that propels a people toward the greater good.

Disagreement isn't the worst thing that can happen to our nation. Loyalty to the British crown once was considered to be the consensus position in the American colonies. Avoiding discord once meant not meddling with the "right" of someone to own slaves. Minding your own business once meant you don't get unpleasant in matters of civil rights. Every advance in American civilization was carried forward by discord, animosity and conflict. And discord, animosity and conflict stood in the way of every cockamamie scheme that would have done our nation great damage.

While the examples used by Mr. Byrne may be US-specific, I think the principle in question is a fairly universal one.

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Last edited by CWS on Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Updated forum-specific rules.
Last bumped by CWS on Fri May 14, 2010 7:45 am.

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