Posted by chujoe on July 26, 2010, at 7:33:29
In reply to Re: the system here, posted by Dr. Bob on July 26, 2010, at 0:47:06
I think language is very important, too. I'm a writer, after all. But because it is so important, as well as ambiguous in about fifty different ways, it is not amenable to rules that specify how one is allowed to speak. If I were going to propose an ethics of posting at Psychobabble, it would involve, at least, two features: 1) No ad hominem attacks; 2) The requirement that one post in good faith. The second requirement is harder to evaluate and moderate than the first, but not impossible. One would be considered to be posting in good faith by: A) observing the rule against ad hominem attacks, B) honestly trying to advance the discussion / argument toward greater understanding (this would include the current ban on wild over-generalizations), & C) being explicit when something someone posts pushes your buttons. In regard to this last point, one might say, for example, "That statement makes me angry," or "I can't help taking that statement personally," or even, perhaps, "I think that statement calls for an apology." (I'm uncertain about this last example.) Any of these responses gives the person addressed an opportunity to respond in a number of ways: With silence, which, while not ideal, would be considered acceptable; with clarification or apology, which would be the ideal; or with a screw-you statement, which would be evidence of bad faith. Finally, we might all try to be careful to be explicit when we are using sarcasm, irony, or other forms of expression that don't translate well from speech to print.
As an example of the sort of good faith discussion of a difficult subject, I'd point to the recent "toxic crap" thread on the Medication board. I think everyone behaved admirably there & I include Link's "I don't give a crap . . ." statement.