Our goal is to be the best place on the internet to discuss even the most complicated or controversial topics in a civil, open-minded way free of personal attacks.
(Rules A through C apply to the entire forum. The off-topic sections are generally exempt from rules D-H.)
A. No ad hominem arguments, insults, flames, personal attacks, libel or slander--at all in the slightest. When in doubt, we will delete your post and warn or ban you, so please go above and beyond to avoid personally attacking other members at all in the slightest. Please keep discussion focused on the issues of the specific topics, and not on the character of those discussing the issues. If your motive is to ridicule members, or spread bad feeling, please do not bother to post. Go above and beyond to do your best to be as respectful and sincere as possible. Posts that have a rude or ridiculing tone or otherwise seem to have the intent of offending others as opposed to having productive exchange of ideas will be deleted, with the poster warned or banned. Even borderline posts will be deleted, with the poster warned or banned. Please see this clarification on how forum discussions are simultaneously uncensored and strictly moderated.
- A.2. Speculating about whether another member who is allegedly saying something false is lying, trolling, stupid, or ignorant, etc. is an off-topic insult.
C. No spam. No advertising. No selling.
- C.2. All links posted must meet our strict site policies regarding links.
D. All posts must be on topic. Posting irrelevant asides, snide comments, or derailing a discussion, is not in the spirit of the forum and is strictly prohibited. It's not merely against the rules to intentionally derail a topic; you must make a concentrated effort to stay on-topic in each topic. Polite, kind off-topic remarks within a post that aren't very distracting (e.g. "hi," "thanks," "I enjoy your writing") are usually tolerated but the majority of each and every post must be on topic and absolutely no rude off-topic or offensive off-topic remarks will be tolerated at all.
- D.2. All posts need to contribute an on-topic point or on-topic question to the discussion. No single word posts, or meaningless posts. No posts that simply say "yes", "no", "bump", or "I agree".
D.4. Generally, it is off-topic to post an entire non-philosophical article, which includes almost all news reports, conspiracy theories or political editorials. If you want to use the information, opinions or arguments in a non-philosophical article as a base for philosophical points and philosophical questions, then generally it is more effective to summarize it or quote only the essential parts of it.
D.5. It is off-topic (and usually insulting) and thus prohibited to tell another member to go research or learn about something. This point is elaborated in the site policies regarding links.
D.6. It is off-topic (and usually insulting) and thus prohibited to critique another member's arguing style, intentions or overall contribution to the forums.
D.7. You must try to write in clear, concise language expressing on-topic points. Being coy, sarcastic, poetic or using too many metaphors is prohibited. See this post for more information or to ask questions about clarity.
F. Formatting: Use the quote bbcode function to quote other users. Make sure to use two line breaks between paragraphs so there is a full line of blank space between the paragraphs. Do not put all of your posts in bold, italic, colored or underline print; those features are for emphasizing certain text. Do not write in poetry/verse format. Do not write in all capital letters. Do not use capital letters for emphasis because that can imply yelling which is not allowed; instead use the bold or italic features for emphasis. Elaboration and questions about spelling, grammar and formatting rules
G. Do not reply to rule-breaking posts. Do not tell others they are violating the forum rules and especially do not quote rule-breaking posts. Simply use the report button (the exclamation point on the upper-right-hand side of the post you wish to report) to report the post and then ignore the reported post until a moderator closes the report or deletes the reported post.
- G.2 It is expected that you read all the preceding posts in a topic before you post in that topic. And it is expected that you use the report button to report any posts that you think violate the forum rules. All posts that follow a single rule-breaking post may be deleted as a means of salvaging the topic. Posts that blatantly misrepresent someone else's position or thoughts may also be deleted especially where it seems intentional or particularly derailing.
- H.1. Use a descriptive and specific title so that other users know the topic.
H.2. Before posting a new topic, search the forum and see if that topic already exists.
H.3. All new topics must be at least 45 words and must be at least 3 sentences (not counting quotes or off-topic content).
H.4. When posting a new topic, you must pose some sort of philosophical argument or philosophical open-ended question. Do not post a topic which only asks for one-word answers. You can use an article, video, image, short poem or other quote as the basis for your own philosophical argument or question or as elaboration of one of your points, but you still must add your own philosophical question or argument in your own words. Please see this post elaborating on this rule against preaching, which does not merely apply to religious topics but applies to all topics. The topic must qualify independently as argument or as elaborated, well-specified philosophical questioning (meaning tacking a simple question onto a post that would otherwise be preaching is not sufficient).
Other notes: As a new trial member, your posts will be held for moderation until you have at least 20 approved on-topic posts. You will also be unable to send PMs or post links. All new topics for all members even those with more than 20 posts are held for moderation (except those by moderators and contributors).
Other terms: By using this site, you agree to follow these rules. Posts that violate these rules will be edited or deleted. Members who violate these rules will be warned or banned. Your own posts will generally not be deleted upon request. By posting you give us permanent, unconditional right to publish, edit or delete the content of your post for any reason at our discretion. If you do not fully understand any of the above rules or are warned about violating one of them, please use the corresponding links to see the elaborations and to ask questions or PM Scott. You may also review the older, more elaborate version of the forum rules which listed the rules in a different order using numbers.