New Rules for the Critical Discussions Forum

#1
Hi All... thanks for your patience while we've tried to hash out some new forum guidelines. Just to bring everyone up to date, the Mod+ thing was kinda working and kinda not working. The goal was to move discussion past the same old arguments and generate new discussion and thought. And we had some of that. But, we also had a lot of the discussions going down well worn tracks/ruts. Re-hashing isn't always a bad thing, but we oughta be able to choose.

So, here's what we've come up with.

This forum is still the place for hashing out debates about science and spirituality from a prove-it-all-from-the-ground-up perspective. If you're generally skeptical of the material presented in the Skeptiko podcast you're probably a good fit for this forum.

If you've been here for a while, and it becomes clear to us that all... or almost all... of your posts fall under this general description, then we may ask you to just hang out here and let the debate come to you rather than go looking for it :)

As with everything else, this is open to discussion, re-assessment and modification... but I think we oughta give this new way a try.
 
#2
I would suggest that if skeptics are attacked in threads in the rest of the forum that should open those threads up as fair game for skeptics to join in and participate. That is: if the point is for conversations to move beyond skeptic vs. proponent then those threads shouldn't deal with skeptic vs. proponent topics.
 
#3
I would suggest that if skeptics are attacked in threads in the rest of the forum that should open those threads up as fair game for skeptics to join in and participate. That is: if the point is for conversations to move beyond skeptic vs. proponent then those threads shouldn't deal with skeptic vs. proponent topics.
I suggest that those threads should be moved to the 'Critical Discussion' forum.
 
#4
I would suggest that if skeptics are attacked in threads in the rest of the forum that should open those threads up as fair game for skeptics to join in and participate. That is: if the point is for conversations to move beyond skeptic vs. proponent then those threads shouldn't deal with skeptic vs. proponent topics.
That kind of defeats the purpose though, yeah? The point behind such a thread is to have a conversation with skeptical input. If you dont have to deal with skeptics, then you dont have to post in critical discussion. Much like the other subforums is for skeptics. If you don't want to deal with proponents who are blasting skeptics, just dont post there.
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#5
This forum is still the place for hashing out debates about science and spirituality from a prove-it-all-from-the-ground-up perspective. If you're generally skeptical of the material presented in the Skeptiko podcast you're probably a good fit for this forum.

If you've been here for a while, and it becomes clear to us that all... or almost all... of your posts fall under this general description, then we may ask you to just hang out here and let the debate come to you rather than go looking for it :)
(bolding mine)
Can you clarify this just a little bit Alex?
Especially the bolded part, does this mean you have a problem with opening new threads by skeptics?
 
#6
So we can engage on the rest of the forum when not participating in hard-nosed debate (for example, exploring techniques in lucid dreaming or taking Jules up on her offer to try out homeopathy or correcting a transcription error in a Skeptiko podcast)? But when engaged in hard-nosed debate, take that to the Critical Discussion forum, and wait for whoever is interested to join in?

I like that idea. I really like the idea of making it an active process to get involved in debate, instead of the more passive process where people felt obliged to respond to issues/questions which arose within a thread, regardless of whether they had any interest in debate.

By mostly drawing on people who provide a tacit commitment to critical discussion, I've already noticed that the quality of the discussions on the CD forum has improved - there's a lot more back and forth on useful ideas about how to explore the research from a scientific perspective (even in threads which were started as Bait The Skeptic threads). And I think that discussions regarded as Stuck On Stupid will be perceived as less intrusive by other forumites when there is a clear expectation that these debates get moved away from them and into the CD forum.

Linda
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#7
I have no idea what you're saying here, Alex. Can't the rules be made clear?

You asked me not to post in the "Psychological study on 'unconventional beliefs'" thread in the C&S forum. Why? It's a thread about a psychological study and all I said was that I had trouble completing it. What does this have to do with Skeptiko broadcasts or mind /= brain or anything like that?

~~ Paul
 
#8
I would suggest that if skeptics are attacked in threads in the rest of the forum that should open those threads up as fair game for skeptics to join in and participate. That is: if the point is for conversations to move beyond skeptic vs. proponent then those threads shouldn't deal with skeptic vs. proponent topics.
Yuck. Those are the discussions I'd rather avoid than join in on. Do you honestly think those threads are started because anyone is interested in understanding differing perspectives?

Linda
 
#9
I have no idea what you're saying here, Alex. Can't the rules be made clear?

You asked me not to post in the "Psychological study on 'unconventional beliefs'" thread in the C&S forum. Why? It's a thread about a psychological study and all I said was that I had trouble completing it. What does this have to do with Skeptiko broadcasts or mind /= brain or anything like that?

~~ Paul
Oh. Maybe I misunderstood. I thought this division only applied to debate, not exploration and cooperative participation.

Linda
 
#10
I would suggest that if skeptics are attacked in threads in the rest of the forum that should open those threads up as fair game for skeptics to join in and participate. That is: if the point is for conversations to move beyond skeptic vs. proponent then those threads shouldn't deal with skeptic vs. proponent topics.
Hi Arouet... I get your point, but pls just flag such posts and let the mods take a look before you jump in.
 
#12
I have no idea what you're saying here, Alex. Can't the rules be made clear?

You asked me not to post in the "Psychological study on 'unconventional beliefs'" thread in the C&S forum. Why? It's a thread about a psychological study and all I said was that I had trouble completing it. What does this have to do with Skeptiko broadcasts or mind /= brain or anything like that?

~~ Paul
I think it's pretty clear. We have several 1,000 posts from you Paul... we know where you're coming from. And I think you understand why a lotta folks (myself included) might not want to join in some discussions with you. I mean, that was the purpose of the mod+ thing, but that didn't work out so well. This is meant to be more straightforward... just post/reply to the CD forum. As Linda just mentioned, there are some great discussions there.
 
#13
Yes, I believe the basic premise of what Alex is saying is that if you're a well known skeptic on this forum, ( Bart, Kay, Fls, Paul, Arouet, really, etc ) you can keep your discussions and posting on this subforum strictly.
 
#14
Oh. Maybe I misunderstood. I thought this division only applied to debate, not exploration and cooperative participation.

Linda
I think perhaps the "rules" here would be better understood from a Proponent vs Skeptic "culture warrior" perspective, where those displaying an insufficient degree of credulity are considered ideological "insurgents"? If that's the case, the rules make sense:

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_24.pdf

[notes from me in red]

b. Isolate the Insurgents. While it may be required to kill [ban] or capture [lock away in "cell block CD"] a number of
insurgents out of operational necessity, it is still necessary to isolate the insurgency from the
population and its resources, especially any external support. The ability to continue to
isolate the insurgency puts it more on the defensive and disrupts its ability to conduct
violence [requests for evidence] that may require confrontational police [mod] or military [admin] action, which risks generating
popular resentment, creating martyrs that motivate new recruits, and producing cycles of
revenge. Isolation of the insurgency should be both psychological and physical. As the HN
government increases its legitimacy, the populace begins to assist it more actively.
Eventually, the people marginalize and stigmatize insurgents to the point that the
insurgency’s claim to legitimacy is destroyed.
 
#16
I believe, however, that the chronology of your quoted doctrine is backwards. The population of this forum sees the insurgents as illegitimate, and thus, isolation is necessary.
 
#18
I believe, however, that the chronology of your quoted doctrine is backwards. The population of this forum sees the insurgents as illegitimate, and thus, isolation is necessary.
Perhaps, but with a significant enough degree of censorship (deleting posts, banning dissenters, arbitrary enforcement of rules, etc) that would be the perception given either way.
 
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#20
Perhaps, but with a significant enough degree of censorship (deleting posts, banning dissenters, arbitrary enforcement of rules, etc) that would be perception given either way.
It's not censorship, though. Having you post in a specific forum while allowing the rest of the forum to be functional without constant derailments isn't censorship of your ideas. You're allowed to express your ideas freely on this subforum; no one is telling you you cant. Furthermore, you're not isolated from your skeptical buddies on this subforum. So I don't really see how this is censorship? You're not allowed to yell BOMB! in federal buildings and on planes, or in a school. But when you're at home, feel free to yell bomb all you want. Does that mean the government has censored your ideas?
 
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