Rules:Worldly Talk Forum
What is Worldly Talk?
This forum, as the name might suggest is for the discussion and debate of morality, philosophy, religion, politics, and all the other Big Stuff in life. Please take note of the words "discussion" and "debate" which do not mean "pointless arguments", "flamebait", or "I'm right, and you're wrong, because your views differ from mine."
Respecting Other People's Views
Some people hold their beliefs, be they political, religious, or whatever else, very dearly. They probably don't take kindly to you going "Hah! Your beliefs are funny! I laugh at them! Hah! Hahah! Oh, mercy, hahah!". Even if someone's beliefs seem ludicrous to you, try to assume the person is serious, at least at first.
Just as you might hold your opinions to be blatantly obviously true, your verbal sparring partner likely feels much the same. Entertaining as it is to see a pair of rams beat their heads together for hours on end, it doesn't really accomplish much, until one of them gets killed or concussed - neither endings ideal to a debate on the Weave.
There are a few exceptions of course. If someone comes in and says "I firmly believe that the Jews are an inferior race", your first action should be to contact a mod. When you see such a post, Do Not Respond - he's either serious, and you should not give him any reason to notice you, or he's a troll, and wants you to respond.
Personal Attacks and Inflammatory Wordings
No, really, don't.
There have been individuals who have said rather harsh things. Now, if this is your opinion, fine! Have your opinion. Just don't post it. Think back to those school debates. Did they debate by calling their opponents morons? No. Did they imply that anyone who holds a given viewpoint was insane, morally bankrupt, or the equivalent to a neo-Nazi? No! Please, extend the same courtesy to your fellow Weavers - even if they are pus-leaking warts on the backside of society, if you start calling them that, it'll be you who gets warned or banned.
Sometimes, debates can get heated. If you're worried you might say something you'll regret, just post saying that, in the interest of mature discussion, you're backing off for the day, to cool down. When you and your worthy opponents come back tomorrow, you can resume, hopefully a little more level-headed.
Relevance and On-Topic-ness
Your posts should be relevant to the topic being discussed. Short asides and tangents are generally accepted, but if they go on for more than a few posts, they should be made into a new thread, preferably with something like "this is a continuation from [thread].", perhaps with a brief summary of what was said, or even direct quotes.
Your arguments and counter-arguments should be relevant - they should be centred on the topic at hand. Refute arguments with logic and fact, not with points like religion, nationality, race, etc. "Your arguments on WW2 don't need a response because you're German", or "your arguments on abortion can be ignored because you're Christian" are not only bad form, but discrimination - not allowed by the site's rules, nor common decency.
Debate, not Statement
This is a forum for debate and discussion. If you aren't interested in either, don't come in! Folks who say "well, I believe X, and so that's it, I won't discuss it any more" are not welcome in the forum. All this does is inflame an already sensitive subject. Doing such will result in action being taken by the staff.
Worldly talk is a forum for discussing serious issues to this end if you are making assertions of fact you will be expected to provide links to credible evidence. The burden for providing said proof lies with the poster making the claim. The source should be credible - personal blogs, shouldn't be used unless they have some referencing. Try, for example, a news site, politician's blog, government site, or other "reputable" website. If you make a statement without providing any evidence and are requested to do so it is not acceptable to respond with any form of "go search for it yourself."
Do not use physical books or other offline sources as proof - it makes it very difficult for others to check the source, if the source is a book that they don't have. If the source is unavailable online it is reasonable to expect that your claims will be treated as dubious.
Reporting Bad Form
If someone breaks these rules, or the site Rules, don't go "Hey! You broke the rules! I'ma gonna go teeeeeeell!". Really, even Cindy Brady got that tattletales get cursed by evil tiki gods (or something, I'm not up on my Brady lore).
If someone does something against the rules, report them - click on the report post button. If you're not sure if this is a rules violation don't worry, the staff will decide.
Wikipedia has an excellent List of Fallacies that you should all read up on. Fallacious arguments are rampant, particularly red herring, strawman, and fallacy of relevance. Please don't use them here.
There is no reason to use a huge block quote if you don't need all of it. Break up your quotes or use inline quotation (MLA style is good) for anything less than 3 lines, as in the following example.
Following these guidelines makes posts much easier to read, forces you to write in complete thoughts and sentences, and reduces the 'wall of text' that results in poor reading. Additionally, when staff need to come in to read things over, it's much easier for us.
Disallowed Discussion Topics
Because they lead to nothing but trouble, the following topics are disallowed:
- Creationism vs Evolution
- The treatment of socialism or any other "form of government" as a qualitative discrete state that equates to "evil"
- Existence of God
- Global warming (discussions of political or other solutions to this issue are allowed, so long as they do not question the underlying science)
- The concept of there being scientific controversy concerning the efficacy of vaccines
Any threads which fall into these territories will be closed.
Amendments to the Rules
If you have any queries about these rules, or wish to suggest a change or addition, post in the "Site Discussion" forum.
1. Wikipedia Fallacies - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies