I think the key to the success of this site to keep debates civil, is successful and efficient monitoring and censuring of the site. Monitoring for ad hominem and other attacks, and mercilessly deleting posts or members who violate it. I support this practice fully.
My only beef is that some members here do not respond to reason and to logical arguments. They stick to their dogmatic beliefs and when convincing arguments are brought up against their beloved dogma, then they simply ignore that argument and continue as if their dogma has not been proven wrong.
This should not be tolerated on a philosophy forum. If a person's proposal or argument is defeated; or shown to be non-sensical; or shown to contradict the law of excluded middle; or is shown to use the wrong logic; then they should be forced to adhere to the result, and cease and desist from promoting their own agendas when those agendas are proven false, wrong, inappropriate or plain stupid.
I would also suggest that REASON be a deciding factor in the same way. Reason or reasonable ideas are not so easily identified, and unreasonable ideas are hard to prove unreasonable. So we need a judgement call here by the moderators at most times, and I suggest, and am willing to abide with, a process to only weed out those posts which are grossly unreasonable. For instance, as an instance, if someone proves that the universe is run on skate boards, and proves it with mathematical formulas, where THE MATH FORMULAS' VARIABLES ARE NOT EXPLAINED IN LONG HAND what they stand for.
As it stands, the current practice is to allow rampant idiotic ideas to run amok, and I resent that. I actually SUFFER when I painstakingly prove someone else wrong, in an air-tight, fool-proof, irrefusable way, and they simply ignore it and sing their false ideas on, and do not admit to defeat by argument. It takes too much out of me, and also when people, in reply to my posts, just talk about things as if they were pertinent and to defeat me and to tire me out, but their points are irrelevant and easily refuted -- yet I need to spend energy to reply to them. This sort of tactic comes from the smarter and more educated members, while the "ignoring the reason" comes form seemingly less educated, and intellectually less gifted members. And then there is the religious lot which I won't even engage, they are so frustrating to talk to.
Many people resent me on this site, and rightfully so, for I am liable to present a veritable challenge to their posts and ideas. I don't mind the resentment, but I mind being forced into explaining little details, and I mind being forced to not see the fruit of my arguments in debates.
Am I expecting too much from the moderators to keep the debates adhere to logic and reason? Yes, it seems they are already overworked. I, however, am so frustrated now on this site, despite its civility, that I can't any more meaningfully engage in debate, for I fear the futility of failure despite my best efforts to convince others to accept what I think.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.