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Would you prefer that this site be a comfortable echo chamber for like-minded individuals only, or an open forum for mutually respectful debate from diverse perspectives?

I prefer…

  • 1 vote
  • 32 votes
skado 9 Dec 29

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Depends on what is meant by mutually, 'respectful' debate. I thought we already had that so should we open the door to the Musk type of thinking!? I hope not.

Depends on what is meant by “open the door”. I think it’s always possible to disagree without being disrespectful. If anything, the disrespect only hardens the other person in their opinions. I don’t keep up with Musk, but I can’t think of a perspective so vile that, if presented respectfully, couldn’t be adequately opposed respectfully. It’s the most basic principle of dialogue.

@skado I agree but who is going to decide what's respectful and what is not? Also, it seems, in our day and age, respectful is a moving target.

I think "respectful" mostly just means not making it personal. No Ad Homs, no personal insults. Just engage the idea.

Examples of blunt refutals without evidence or reasoned argument. Bear in mind that these statements are often made to new members who just joined, and are often trying to test the water and gain confidence. If not bullying then the next nearist thing perhaps ?





And there are dozens more.

And Ad homien.

The happiest nations on Earth are strongly secular




I like diversity, sadly many fear diversity and when someone is afraid they lash out. As long as it's mutually respectful I'll jump in.


I would prefer diversity, but it should be accompanied by tolerance, respect, and open-mindedness. Mostly what we see here is intolerance of different perspectives, accompanied by rude insults. Consequently, I don’t even TRY to have real conversations here.


Soooooooo, those are my only choices? ask any Loaded questions, do ya?

How would you describe your preferences regarding the presence or absence of diversity of opinions on this site?

@skado i prefer the site to be full of idiots posting drivel so i can be snarky.........
IMO this is the truthful-est answer you will get!

Snark on, sister!


Yes, I like meat and potatoes.

I give you the most exciting group in gospel music:


@skado swinging three ways


I'd vote in support of an open forum where all are welcomed. Only times Admin should step in to censor or ban is if someone makes threats of violence or encourages/promotes any sort of criminal behavior.

That said, I get the feeling a good number of those who voted for an open forum are saying that for appearance sake and don't genuinely support that as claimed, so a poll like this one may not actually be a sound indicator of how others really feel on the matter. They're all in favor of having an open forum until they don't, once another member makes a statement(s) that they may disagree with or consider to be hate speech, then they sing a different tune. Over the years I've been active on here I've observed such scenarios occur all too often. One would think either blocking or ignoring someone would suffice, but that's not always the case.

As for me, blocking or just ignoring is good enough in dealing with those who insist on stirring-up drama and trouble, and when I say I support having an open general forum I mean just that. Diversity of thoughts and beliefs is truly a good thing, and as someone who doesn't exactly fit in with either the progressive or conservative crowds, I can appreciate those who dare to be different and speak out on what would be considered controversial topics.

I agree with all of that, and in addition to making violent threats and promoting criminal behavior, admin claims that personal attacks will not be tolerated:


“A note about etiquette

We are doing our best to keep this a safe, troll-free community where people are free to express themselves. As you can imagine, many people in our crowd are passionate about facts, truth, and some even like a good debate.

Our #1 guideline is simple: let’s just keep it truthful and respectful.

On that note, we should tell you that a small percentage of members are probably social justice warriors. Think of it as an opportunity to enlighten them with civility. Please be nice. 🙂


“We hope to provide a safe place for people to share their thoughts and opinions, get involved in causes, keep up with news, and even meet others. We are not necessarily an anti-religion website.”

“We welcome debate and dissent but personal attacks, persistent trolling and similar abuse will not be tolerated.” []

@skado I know right? At times sure appears to be alot of personal attacks on here that largely go unnoticed.

That is a fact.

@skado, @TheInterlooper The MiddleWay comes to mind as a more recent example of one of the decent members who had vacated the site. He and I were a good example when it comes to discussions that involve disagreements... we may have disagreed with each other at times but our discussions never turned all out hostile, and we both thought each other had the right to state their opinions minus censorship. Before he left he messaged me saying the site has become too toxic, and that interacting on a site like this one was not doing any good to his mental health. I don't think he was incorrect about that observation...

@SpikeTalon I was wondering what happened to MiddleWay. Many of the back and forth was interesting and fun.

His case was the inspiration for this post. One of the smartest and fairest and most misunderstood people ever on this site. Very sorry to see him leave.

@skado Same!


The wider the range the better and the more stimulating. But, having said that, not all opinions are worthy of equal respect, and any opinion has to stand up to the full force of counter opinion.


Who needs a mutual admiration society?


Obviously your poll is skewed, like a wife beater question. When someone says something I vehemently disagree with,, I don't see any point to respectful debate. Ad hominem remarks are sometimes perfectly valid. If the shoe fits...

“Valid” toward what purpose?

@skado Towards telling someone GFY.

Ok, so do I understand correctly that you would prefer that no one posted ideas you vehemently disagree with?

@skado No, you don't understand correctly. I said your poll is skewed, so I didn't answer it. I gave the answer that I wanted. If someone expresses an idea which I "vehemently" disagree with, respectful debate is not worth my trouble. People can post whatever they want. If I disagree, I'll either ignore them or express why I think they are wrong. If they insist on arguing I have no problem with telling someone GFY.

Ok, well maybe I’ll make a poll about that sometime. This poll is about whether you’d prefer this site to be populated with people who think like you ( regarding the subject the site is named for ) or with people who respectfully present diverse viewpoints.

@skado Conformity or Diversity were the choices. It's your poll, you can make it about anything you want. I chose to respond to your post without responding to your poll.

Thanks for letting me know.

@skado Your welcome. I'm glad you can appreciate diversity.


The mutually respectful part is hard for many of us but I'm going to try to do my best.


I prefer both as long as it generally progresses. Any organization cannot progress unless it has a well-spring of ideas.

@mcfluwster @skado This is not a reply but an addition to my own comment. It is often the case that replies are not clearly directed to the proper source . Is it possible to correct this by always typing @'my particular target' before any reply???

Yes, that will send the person a notification.


Tolerance of intolerance is intolerance.

I agree. So... how does that relate to this post?

Well, your premise is that we should tolerate everybody and I'm saying that some people should not be tolerated such as transphobes.

I haven’t said, nor do I believe we should tolerate everybody. There are lots of people who shouldn’t be tolerated. That’s not what this post is about.

This post is about tolerating ideas. And I’m not stating my preference here. I’m asking yours. Would you prefer ideas counter to your own to be banned from expression here? I think for example, hate speech and personal attacks should be unwelcome on any social media. But I’m not talking about hate speech. I’m talking about philosophical differences - worldview differences.

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