Guest Post: Alix on Civility and Confrontation

argument

Reader Alix and I disagreed last week in a comment thread about the role of things like personal attacks in argument with those with whom you disagree. As you may know, my comment policy makes certain requirements of those who comment here. This is my blog, and as such I set the rules. Alix and I still disagree on a few particulars, but I offered er the chance to write a guest post on the topic. Here it is. A Guest Post by AlixLet me tell you a story.Way back, years ago (before I had … [Read more...]

The Camels with Hammers Civility Pledge

civility

Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers has written a civility pledge. He has requested that interested bloggers repost the pledge, following it with any amendments or caveats they would add. So here's Dan's pledge, followed by my thoughts: The Pledge:1. I commit that I will engage in all public arguments with a sincere aim of mutual understanding, rather than only persuasion.I will make being honest, rationally scrupulous, and compassionate my highest priorities. I will conscientiously … [Read more...]

Assorted Thoughts on Civility

jumble

I have a bunch of stuff in my mind right now and I sort of want to just dump it all out here in a semi-organized fashion. After this I'm planning to take a hiatus from writing about civil discussion and tactics because, to be honest, I find it fairly boring compared to what I usually write about. Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I am off of whatever high horse I sometimes get on (sorry!). This is just me trying to sort through this in my mind, and I'm most interested in your … [Read more...]

Being Civil Does Not Mean Selling Out the Underprivileged

prison

[Note: For an update, please see my followup post, Walking the Walk: In Which Tony Jones Makes Good.]I've written before about the importance of civil discussion, and about reservations I have about the widespread use of shame as a tactic for effecting change. But just as abusive name calling is a problem, so too is relativism, especially when the rights and lives of underprivileged groups are at stake.Let me give an example of what I'm talking about. Tony Jones is a progressive Ch … [Read more...]

Why I Believe in Civil Discussion

civil conversation

Just how civil atheists should be in their communication with the religious seems to be a perennial conversation in the atheist blogosphere, though these ideas are applicable much more broadly than just that. Fellow Patheos blogger Dan Fincke, who has long argued in favor of civil discussion, recently called my attention to a study that looked at the effect of online comments on a person's perception of argument and information. This from Mother Jones: In a recent study, a team of researchers … [Read more...]


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