A recent study has suggested that allowing readers to be exposed to combative comments interferes with their ability to process new information and think critically about it. In fact, readers exposed to such comments tend to double down on their existing beliefs, i.e. their beliefs about the topic become more polarized than before, while their perceptions of the negative aspects of the topic being discussed increase.
Sermons from the Mound welcomes thoughtful discussion and debate. We believe that nonviolent communication is a necessary precondition for such debate, and we strive to communicate nonviolently to the best of our ability.
In the past, wishing to ensure that dissenting views would be represented in discussions, we have sometimes allowed comments that were contemptuous, harassing, or otherwise destructive in tone because they also contained an interesting idea or an intelligent thought. We have come to believe that such comments disrupt and poison the discussion space and ultimately make the careful exploration of differences impossible.
All comments are now automatically moderated. We welcome all constructive comments that are offered in a spirit of cooperative exploration and will publish them selectively, in the mindset of a “Letters to the Editor” section. Please note that comments may remain unscreened temporarily or permanently due to limited time on the part of the author(s).
Note: We’ve become aware that Disqus sometimes loses comments. If you submitted a comment to an active conversation and you’re concerned that it may have disappeared, e-mail chkraemer13 at gmail.