Quick note on commenting

I have just edited a comment for the first time in this blog’s lifetime. In this particular case I just removed the commentator’s chosen pseudonym, which was obviously calculated as a taunt.

I’ll take this as an opportunity to explain my idea of my combox. To quote a piece of deep popular wisdom, you can call a spade a spade without calling it a fucking shovel.  Now I’m actually OK with an occasional swearword, but I think by analogy you can e.g. argue against my religion without blaspheming. I’m often happy to pick a fight. You’re free to make aggressive arguments.  But you can always do that without words calculated to hurt more than the ideas they express.

For illustration (not the example I just edited), if you want to tell me God doesn’t exist, that believing in him is totally irrational  and that he wouldn’t be worthy of worship even if he did, that’s totally fine and maybe we can even pick a nice fight on it.  But if you can’t explain that thought without referring to schizophrenic delusions of a fascist sky-daddy, your comment will probably get edited or disemvoweled or deleted.

I’m keeping this vague on purpose, because I don’t want to get into pseudo-legal arguments over some kind of formal rules.  Basically I know it when I see it, and on this here blog it’s me who sees it. This is not some kind of game, just me expecting guests to behave themselves on my front porch.

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3 Responses to Quick note on commenting

  1. Brandon Jaloway says:

    Cool, I was just thinking I would have the same rules, if I were you. After all, this is your front porch. (I said “home” in my head when I thought out the rules I woul have, but porch works too.)

  2. MugaSofer says:

    Out of interest, does this apply the other way?

    • Gilbert says:

      In principle, yes, but with reservations:
      – Basically I won’t do unilateral rhetorical disarmament where that would mean accepting an inferior role. For example Ayn Rand and Eliezer Yudkowsky generally write from a baseline position of everyone disagreeing with them being dumb or evil, so I think it’s adequate to point out the dumbness of those writings rather than accepting the position they assign me.
      – And I don’t always live up to my ideals. (There is some symmetry here, in that I have some flexibility in handling my comments policy too, just not an infinite amount.)

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