Soap Box - Please read before reading/posting *UPDATED*

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Robin, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Robin

    Robin Guest

    The Soap Box is a forum for debate and serious discussion. Please remember that everyone has different values, beliefs, backgrounds etc. so if you post in here, not everyone will agree with your opinion. All members are ultimately responsible for themselves; while staff try to keep the forum safe for all members, it is particularly difficult in this soap box forum because of the nature of the forum. Please start, read and reply to threads only if you feel safe enough to do so.

    If you're likely to be triggered if someone disagrees with you, then please look after yourself and do not post in this forum if need be. Expect debate and feedback about what you say here.

    If the title of a thread triggers you, do not read the thread. If you find yourself triggered while reading the thread, click out of it.

    Do not attack members for their views and opinions. It is ok to debate a subject, but it is not ok to call members names and attack them for their beliefs. Any direct insults/attacks towards members will be edited out/deleted.

    Thanks and happy debating :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2007
  2. Isabel

    Isabel Staff Alumni

    How to enjoy the Soap Box and disagree at SF

    We would like for all Sfers to be able to enjoy the pleasure of good but safe debates in the Soap Box. Disagreeing is never comfortable but does not have a to turn into a war. We can all learn something and keep our stress level down at the same time. We believe debating can be fruitful as long as certain guidelines are followed.

    1. Grant everybody respect. Even when all has been said, the other persons can come to a different conclusion from you. If you cannot grant that respect from the start, this wont be a fruitful debate.

    2. Learn objectivity. This means recognizing the difference between a fact and an opinion. 1+1=2 is a fact. That the Twilight books are great is an opinion. In order to disprove a fact, one MUST present contrary evidence. Just saying, “That’s wrong!” isn’t good enough. It’s an opinion, not a fact. Likewise, another’s experience or feelings cannot be “wrong”or “right.” That the red fruit on the table is an apple is a fact, it's objective. That you like apples is an experience. It is your feelings you like the taste of the apple. The others feelings that apples taste awful is their experience. Those experiences are all valid, but subjective and not debatable.

    3. Refrain from criticizing or belittling one who holds a different position. Comments to be avoided, “How moronic can you be?” or “You don’t know anything.” Attacking people instead of ideas merely indicates a weakness in your position and aggravates everybody. In a forum aimed at supporting others through difficult times, we should strive to be empathetic to others.

    4. Absolutely. Never. For any reason. Use. Insults. What’s an “insult”? A verbal attack, often one that employs obscenities. There’s simply no excuse for it. Period. It doesn’t matter who started it. And there is no need to provide examples.

    5. Remember nobody has a monopoly on the truth, there may be more than two sides to any debate. Polite debate implies you state upfront where you may or may not agree. It’s a debate, not a war. There is no “You’re with me or you’re against me”. Do not take it personally. The others may like you very much, even be your bff, but still disagree with your position.

    6. If you have a thin skin, a bad day, or feel upset, angry, annoyed etc... — it is generally wiser to stay out of debates. The forum is not the place to act out your frustrations that your spouse, brother, sister-in-law has drunk the last of the coffee. That is doubly true if you just quit smoking.

    7. Recognize that not everyone may hold the same beliefs and values. Unless participants agree on recognizing one belief or one value as an authority, the reaction will — justifiably — be “So what?” Those, like religious beliefs, in debate must be treated as opinions, not facts. The exception is the pro life ethos of SF. On this, moderators have the last word.

    8. Be generous and confident enough to concede your position if somebody convinces you that you are wrong– admit it! The real point of any debate is not to win, but to learn. If you enter a debate merely to win, you have gotten into the fray for the wrong reasons.

    9. Know when to quit. One does not have to have the last word, and it is permissible to say, “I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced.” Agree to disagree. Spending five hours online and going to bed at 3am so that you can brag you beat the other into exhaustion (or just plain disgust) is counterproductive for all parties.

    If these simple rules are followed, we believe controversial topics can be safely discussed and we can all grow out of the experience. If these rules are not followed, bits and pieces of hurt egos and mangled hearts are found all over the forum and the clean-up crew charges twice the price for overtime.

    WHAT IF ONE PARTICIPANT REFUSES TO PLAY NICE?

    Well, this is when posts get deleted, edited and threads get closed. Which ruins it for everybody who was enjoying a good discussion. Your kindly moderators do not feel so kind anymore as they are human after all and they like their snooze time as much as anybody else. In other words, No, it’s never wise or nice to break the rules.

    Inspired by and adapted from Peg Robinson’s “The Mannerly Art of Critique.”
     
  3. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    I have to say Robin & Isabel well said - if only the world was like this forum all our problems would be solved over night
     
    Spottheshark likes this.
  4. Charlie farley

    Charlie farley Banned Member

    Some very valuable points aired by Isabel there.
    If only the world's leaders would learn from that and then there would be no more wars