Mannerly Discussion

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chuck.drake

#1
A topic that comes up from time to time is the idea that adherence to a code of manners would allow for more fruitful discussion.

Does this idea hold water? Is politeness a prerequisite for enlightened conversation?

Thanks.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#2
I would think politeness is a good idea in general. We could agree to have a free-for-all thread on any topic, but everyone who participated would also have to agree not to complain about people being impolite. Kind of a Mod- thread.

~~ Paul
 
#3
It's not a prerequisite. If we did this face to face debating it might be more civil.
I remarked recently in the thread started by Kai that those argumentative replies had the force and passions of the same intensity as those delivered by the religiously faithful. But I wonder if it is possible when people that a great deal of emotional investment in what is believed.
 
C

chuck.drake

#6
I think there needs to be a balance between a kind of over-politness and being able to express your passion for an issue. Also, some people have personalities that may not be polite by nature, but they still may have something useful to say.
 
#7
That's a very interesting Sheldrake segment by the way. It's quite old, though. Does anyone know if he ever did that experiment with moving the entire loft a large distance?
 
#8
That's a very interesting Sheldrake segment by the way. It's quite old, though. Does anyone know if he ever did that experiment with moving the entire loft a large distance?
Yes, he did. The loft was moved several times. Each time the pigeons found the loft. On the last move the pigeons could not find the loft. What they did was circle around the last known location. I have searched for the video of this experiment which I know must exist or did exist, I saw it once, but have had no luck finding it.
 
#9
I think there needs to be a balance between a kind of over-politness and being able to express your passion for an issue. Also, some people have personalities that may not be polite by nature, but they still may have something useful to say.
Sometimes from the force of some replies the image I see is like a Bible thumper delivering a sermon.
 
#11
I think there needs to be a balance between a kind of over-politness and being able to express your passion for an issue. Also, some people have personalities that may not be polite by nature, but they still may have something useful to say.
It's not impolite to be passionate and vigourous in one's argument. The politeness relates to the attitude towards the other person.

Here's the thing: when you are rude and offensive towards someone they almost immediately stop focussing on your argument and focus on the perceived slight.
 
C

chuck.drake

#12
It's not impolite to be passionate and vigourous in one's argument. The politeness relates to the attitude towards the other person.

Here's the thing: when you are rude and offensive towards someone they almost immediately stop focussing on your argument and focus on the perceived slight.
I've seen that happen sometimes. I've also seen people apologize after and move on. I just think trying to dictate behavior might stifle conversation than it promotes. What may be rude to one person may be innocuous to another.
 
#13
I've seen that happen sometimes. I've also seen people apologize after and move on. I just think trying to dictate behavior might stifle conversation than it promotes. What may be rude to one person may be innocuous to another.
I don't think it should be dictated (as in mod-enforced). I do think people should try and do it voluntarily.

I posted awhile back a number of suggestions towards improving civility on the forum. I'll try and dig it up.
 
#14
I've seen that happen sometimes. I've also seen people apologize after and move on. I just think trying to dictate behavior might stifle conversation than it promotes. What may be rude to one person may be innocuous to another.
Forceful passionate response is not a problem for me if it is directed at a position. It becomes a problem when it is directed at the person.
 
#15
I'd say discussion here isn't that bad - at least compared to other places on the internet! Moderation seems to work. It is rather like litter - people are more likely to drop litter if there is a lot about already - clean the place up, and it tends to stay clean!

David
 
C

chuck.drake

#16
I'd say discussion here isn't that bad - at least compared to other places on the internet! Moderation seems to work. It is rather like litter - people are more likely to drop litter if there is a lot about already - clean the place up, and it tends to stay clean!

David
That is how I have felt for the most part. This place already is rather gentlemanly when you compare it to everything else.
 
#17
I'd say discussion here isn't that bad - at least compared to other places on the internet! Moderation seems to work. It is rather like litter - people are more likely to drop litter if there is a lot about already - clean the place up, and it tends to stay clean!

David
Agreed. There is very little trolling here compared to other discussion boards generally. People challenge each other here, which is not always easy, and sometimes does descend into snarky behavior, but I hardly ever see naked trolling. I'm proud to be part of this community, and I think the house skeptics (generally) are sharp people who avoid bullying, which is refreshing. Bullying from skeptics generally is a pretty pervasive problem I'd say; just look at the disgusting posts that go up on Rational Wiki. Sad the lengths people will go to impose intellectual conformity.

Bohm wrote extensively on "Dialogue". He said that the issues arise when we either A) Spout off angrily and criticize mindlessly (i.e. give into emotions), or B) repress our emotions. He always promoted a middle ground, where you allow yourself to feel anger or whatever, but suspend your judgments and allow yourself to examine the biases and subconscious factors influencing your feelings at that moment. I think that is real key to a successful dialogue, as well as realizing that while our opinions differ, I think many of us accept that our knowledge is incomplete and in many ways we are unconsciously incoherent in one way shape or form.
 
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