(This is following Karash's proposition in the "Welcome thread". Thank him. :))
Hello gentle newcomer! We don't know you yet, but you sure are welcome.
So, here is the deal. As you see, we have decided to have discussions of all kind on this forum: political, philosophical, sociological, moral, religious, etc. We don't have to tell you that a lot of those topics are "dangerous". When you talk about religion and morality, people tend to have very definite opinions. Tempers can rise quickly, posters can get offended, in short: discussions can become heated.
We don't want to censor any of those topics, but to prevent threads to turn into a flame war, we are going to ask you to take some precautions.
On the substance, please say what you want. If you want to convince us that God is an alien from Mars, you are welcome to try. But please be prudent in the form of your post.
Here are some "form" suggestions. They are only suggestions, not orders, or rules. You can decide to follow them, or not. These are not principles, just tricks that have proved effective in the past.
Don't forget that this is not to censor the substance or what you are going to say, on the contrary: being prudent on the form enables you to say absolutely what you want after. Those tricks have a goal: keep the discussion on topic. If insults fly, the thread has failed.
- Adding a "I think" or a "I believe", before stating an opinion, even if you are absolutely convinced you are right, is a way to show to your adversary that you respect his right to have another opinion.
Hypocritical? Yes, certainly! But effective.
- Try not be agressive, not to be sarcastic too much or too often, and please never insult other people's convictions. If you think the conviction, the belief or the philosophy stated by another poster is dumb, it means that you disagree, right? So say it like that. "I disagree." "I disagree a hundred percent". "I couldn't disagree more". Then state your reasons.
- If you think what you are going to say is going to upset some persons, say it in introduction to your post and apologize in advance. Then say what you have to say.
- Repeat ad nauseam that you are attacking the opinion, not the person who stated it. Yes, even if you think that it is obvious, yes, even if you said it a thousand times already. It always helps.
- If you know you are going to be violent on a topic, because it is a sensitive one for you, say it in the introduction of your post, and apologize in advance, again. "This is a sensitive topic for me and I'm going to be violent. Please forgive me." Then say what you have to say.
[ Other suggestions, anyone? :) ]
Are these suggestions logical, artificial, hypocritical, too binding? We don't know. We want mutual respect on this board and it is a very difficult concept to define. This is why, as long as the substance is preserved, it may be a good idea to err on the side of prudence.
You see, we want all kind of opinions and especially all kind of persons on this board. People who are used to discussion and the level of agressivity that can arise - let's call them "discussion professionals" - are not going to be stopped by a little verbal violence. But this forum is not meant only for them.
We want all kind of people here: from very young to very old, from very polite and respectful of form to... well, not, from atmosphere sensitive people to people who could not care less, from shy people to agressive people, etc. Having very heated discussions tends to drive away from this forum people who like diplomacy, kindness, friendship, warmth. And we want them here too.
So even if it means betraying a little your natural style, we are going to ask you to try. Sorry.
Remember, though: those are only suggestions.
Thank you very much.
Post-Scriptum: It is a tradition here to make fun of Kyle Altis and MH Ecthelion. Please try at least once.
... What do you think?
Edit: getting rid of the italics. Not easy to read. :)