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6 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2008 - 6:08PM #1
Summer813
Posts: 325
Hello, everyone.

First off, allow me to apologize for my recent absence. Regrettably, I've not spent as much time around here lately as I would have liked, Real Life having intervened and kept me busy with various odds and ends including homework for a college course I'm currently taking. It's weird being back in college over twenty years after I got my previous degree, but exciting at the same time. It is, however, a lot of work.

In any case, I've now gotten my ducks in something resembling a row, and so I logged on today and was promptly struck by how the level of discourse seems to have degenerated of late. A well-reasoned discussion, even a heatedly passionate one, is to be appreciated, but name-calling and personal ("ad hominem") attacks really have no place in such a discussion. I added a post today to a thread I hadn't read all of yet, then once I finished reading it I realized that it had sunk to the point where there appeared to be no bringing it out of the mud-slinging fest it had become. That thread is now locked.

I realize that we all have some very strong feelings on the topics brought up in this forum, myself included. I also realize that some of us may well find the POV of some of the others offensive - again, myself occasionally included. However, that is no excuse for couching our very discussion in unnecessarily offensive terms. We are all, ostensibly, civilized adults, and thus ought to be capable of handling debates and disagreements in a civilized and mature manner. I posit that there is more to be gained by doing so than by resorting to name-calling and other personal attacks. Attacking an idea is one thing, but attacking the person who espouses an idea is quite another. Let's please refrain from the latter, shall we?

And yes, there is often an apparent fine line between the former and the latter, so whenever each of us is about to make a post, it is probably a good idea to read it over and make sure that it addresses the ideas under discussion, rather than another poster. Likewise, when each of us reads a post, it's a good idea to read it thoroughly and possibly more than once, to ascertain whether it is addressing an idea or another poster.  Finally, if you feel that someone has attacked you, don't attack them back and add fuel to the fire. Instead, please bring it to the attention of Davelaw or myself, or the managers of the Beliefnet Community as a whole. It will be taken care of.

Asbestos underwear is itchy; please try to limit the time we must spend wearing it.

Sincerely,
Summer813,
your prodigal Co-Host
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2008 - 6:16PM #2
TPaine
Posts: 9,262
Welcome back, Summer, you've been missed.:) I bet Dave is turning cartwheels now that he doesn't have to handle this rowdy bunch alone.:D
"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2008 - 6:40PM #3
Summer813
Posts: 325
Yes, I felt bad for leaving him on his own, especially when he can be a pretty busy guy himself. And it's good to be back. :)
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2008 - 7:00PM #4
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
Summer!  Summer!  Summer!  :D   


We missed you!
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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