- Fair thought is necessary, and is a cornerstone to honor. If someone brings up a conflicting viewpoint, don't throw out a red herring or straw man fallacy. We will all leave a little smarter this way.
- No ad hominem fallacies. I know, I just said fair thought is required, but this one deserves its own section. Facts must stand or fall on their own merit. If you have to bring ignorance, race, faith, privilege, or culture into the conversation, a page committed to fair thought is not the place for you.
- Have the same conversation. I believe that many of our disagreements stem from the tendency of two opposing sides to argue with points that fail to refute the central points of the other. Examples of this are controlling illegal immigration vs hating non-Americans, or protecting the unborn vs protecting the woman who wants an abortion. If you wish to defend (And I hope you do), refute directly.
- No name-calling / Trust in the positive intentions of others. People disagree because they have a different view, not necessarily because they are bigoted, [anything]phobic, ignorant or stupid. The conversations that ensue on this page should begin with the assumption that we all want improvement; and our disagreement is usually just in the solution.
- No shutting down the conversation. Statements like "End of discussion," or "You're not going to convince me" have no place on this page. If that's how you feel, this is not the proper forum for you. There are plenty of "echo chambers" on both sides. Find one of them instead of trying to make this your support group.
- Keep your values relative. Scientifically, the only answer to "Is there a God?" Is "We don't know." Neither atheists nor believers have a monopoly on science, and as both sides claim to answer the question "What's behind that door?" Both sides have taken a leap of faith. As a Christian man, I believe there is truth in The Bible. That said, if I'm speaking to someone without, or with differing faith, I know that "Because The Bible says so" is not a refute. Neither is "Because there is no god." The agnostics can laugh at both of us.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
A Blog's Commitment to Excellence (START HERE)
After an extended hiatus spent reading tons and writing little, I've decided to change courses. No, my values, faith, and hobbies have not changed. What has changed is the realization that without dialogue between all parties, there will not be any advancement in our society.
I remain adherent to fair thought principles. I have removed derogatory terms for the other side of the aisle from my vocabulary, and it is the goal of anything I post to start a conversation, not end it. The past two years have allowed me to experiment on social media to solicit input from all sides. I think that it's the lack of communication that creates stereotypes and assumptions, both of which inhibit communication. That's why I'm working to transition the conversation from my personal page and into this public forum. If you disagree with something, please feel free to state and support your thoughts. I truly believe that when we are all heard, we find that we have more in common than we once thought.
While I welcome feedback, there are a few things I hope to achieve through this page, and certain elements can help or harm this.
When we expand our minds and provide a place like this where everyone is able to hear and be heard, we can begin to come back together and fix this mess. Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoy this site!