The Discussion Forums Rules
Or: If you can't be bothered to read through this, chances are, you're in the wrong forum, anyway.
So we give it a third shot. Let me remove one fear from the beginning: The Discussion Forum is here to stay. Period. It won't be closed again.
To make this possible, and create an environment in which people can actually lead worthwhile discussions, some rules have to be implemented. Most of you will regard most of them as common sense, or so I hope, but please go through them carefully, anyway. Violation will in most cases not lead to temporary suspensions or bans; should someone however turn out to repeatedly disturb discussions, he will have his write access to this particular forum removed. A localized suspension, if you will.
As with all forums around, violation of the global rules you agreed upon when entering will lead to more severe punishment. Thus, if you are going to flame someone for any reason, check through your reply very carefully before hitting the [X] in the top right corner of your browser window to post it.
Pretty much all rules can be brought down to one word: Respect. Keep that in mind, and you'll be on the safe side. Don't, and word-by-word obediance to everything below won't keep you from being a pain.
So, without further ado:1.: Always consider the possibilty that you are wrong and the other side is right.
Stay open minded to other peoples points: Ignoring the other side and insisting on a few own arguments won't get you - or anybody else - anywhere. It's very much to ask, but try to consider other peoples argumentations, as opposed to ways of beating them.2.: Never, ever, be judgemental towards the other side.
Blanket labelling of another opinion as "stupid", "naive", "short sighted", "racist", "communist", "socialist", "liberal", "conservative", or what have you is often so close to flaming that it takes experts to find a difference. If you wish to express your personal opinion about another persons notion, try to stay away from valuing terms, and try to be as rational as humanly possible - you're treading on thin ice, and insulting the other side by calling it what it is not can't be in your interest.3.: Try to stay rational.
Nobody wishes to forbid you your personal opinion, but unless it is grounded on rational thought, as opposed to emotional reactions, it can't be seriously discussed. You can tell people that you "dislike the Republicans/Democrats because I hate Bushs/Clintons accent.", but it's not exactely possible to form argumentations around such a claim. Stating that you "dislike the Republicans/Democrats because I can't agree with their tax policy." would be a little
Many religious arguments are a thin borderline away from being utterly emotional. This makes their use in many cases very problematic. Always assume that you try to convince - for convincing the other side has to be your prime goal - someone with differing faiths. If your argument still seems to hold water, it's probably OK.4.: Do not expect ego strokes.
The Natural Selection forums consist of a large number of people from a large number of backgrounds. This means that every opinion, including the one you are opposed to, will
find someone defending it. Thus, do not expect to find questionless consent with the opinions you express. If you ask "Why do people hate Bush?", this'd better not be a rethorical question, because you will
find someone offering you a long list, alphabetically ordered. Don't be insulted by differing opinions.5.: Respect other peoples newssources.
It is so
tempting. Tell someone that you don't believe the newspaper they cited articles from, and the uncomfortably consistent argumentation they built up falls together, leaving you and your notion secure again.
Don't ever try that.
Discrediting a newssource requires more than that one article from three years ago that wasn't entirely correct, or an obvious political bias - you'll find few newssites without one. Accept that Leftys will often quote facts found on Salon.org, while Conservatives will cite FOX. Unless you can find contradicting factual data, you will have to accept the newssources validity and instead go the hard way, argumentatively tackling the points based upon those articles.6.: Read through the other posts.
It can be frustrating to come late into a fifteen page discussion of a pet peeve, but do nonetheless take the time to read and consider each post. It is just downright rude not to honor the effort that went in them, not to mention that you are easily coming in the danger of repeating already discussed items - which can lead to us deleting posts to keep the thread from going in circles.7.: The one piece of 'censorship': No racist or otherwise hate-based comments.
"But what if those are my opinions?", some might ask.
"Well", we answer, "in that case, we'd like to ask you to leave these boards, curl up in a dirty corner, and hold your breathe until your few remaining brain cells take irreversible damage. Thanks for your cooperation!"
Please try to follow these rules to your best abilities.
Your Moderation Team.
Oh, and on a lighter note:Image by Fam.