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Important Questionnaire #26: RF Rule 8

Discussion in 'The Interview Place' started by Sunstone, Jul 12, 2020.

?
  1. I strongly agree with the statement.

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  2. I somewhat agree with the statement.

    10 vote(s)
    30.3%
  3. I neither agree nor disagree with the statement.

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. I somewhat disagree with the statement.

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  5. I strongly disagree with the statement.

    5 vote(s)
    15.2%
  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

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    This questionnaire is important to me: I am gathering member feedback to help me make better policy decisions. Please help out by responding to it.

    RF Rule 8 reads in its entirety:

    8. Preaching/Proselytizing
    Creating (or linking to) content intended to convert/recruit others to your religion, spirituality, sect/denomination, or lack thereof is not permitted. Similarly, attempting to convert others away from their religion, spiritual convictions, or sect/denomination will also be considered a form of preaching. Stating opinions as a definitive matter of fact (i.e., without "I believe/feel/think" language, and/or without references) may be moderated as preaching.

    How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement: "Overall, RF Rule 8 is reasonable."

    Please pick which one of these five options is closest to your views. If you do not see an option that suits you, please accept this poll was not designed for you, and move on.

    OPTION ONE: I strongly agree with the statement.

    OPTION TWO: I somewhat agree with the statement.

    OPTION THREE: I neither agree nor disagree with the statement.

    OPTION FOUR: I somewhat disagree with the statement.

    OPTION FIVE: I strongly disagree with the statement.
     
  2. Eddi

    Eddi currently engaged in spiritual warfare

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    I've selected "Strongly Agree"

    I don't like being preached to and have no interest in preaching to others

    Rule 8 being relaxed or revoked it would I believe be detrimental to the forums

    I like these forums just the way they are
     
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  3. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    I somewhat agree, because I agree with the principle, but as is currently being demonstrated, it is difficult sometimes to decide on whether it is taking place.
     
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  4. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    I think this covers any disagreement on the forum. For an example: "Christianity is a myth" - which is often used, is it not trying to dissuade a Christian from his religion? Would that be classified as preaching against a religion?

    It can get pretty murky in its technicality.

    But I'm fine with however you decide. Love the site
     
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  5. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    It is in effect to vague because it relies on how absurd it may sound an opinion of what a fact is. If you want to be clear, state what a fact is and what an opinion is.

    I.e. is it a fact that the world is natural or is that an opinion? The moment any statement hits "I/we know what the world is, what objective, rational, logical, evidence, proof/truth and indeed facts are" you open up "a can of worms" unless you as RF state what those words are here. I mean state how you use them. Not what they really are, but how you in effect define them.

    Indeed consider moving away from "Preaching/Proselytizing" and maybe make it about judging other people. That is in effect where it ends.
    How absurd it might be, facts are in part a normative rule about how we ought to/should speak about the world.
     
    #5 mikkel_the_dane, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I think that it's a terrible rule.

    Show me a creation v evolution thread that is not laced with attempts to "convert/recruit" to one's "religion ... or lack thereof." Show me a thread peppered with Biblical references that is not presenting them as prooftext, as matters of fact. I detest proselytizing, but the line between proselytizing and affirming is a tenuous one.

    (I wonder if a "Promotion" forum makes sense.)
     
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  7. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    I voted somewhat agree.

    My only concern is that I use a variety of web sources to back up my arguments during debate. Most of those websites arguably have "content which is intended to convert or recruit".

    I think that one snippet "( or link to )" should be taken out of the rule.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    The only one I have issue with is the need for "I think/feel." It should be common courteously in the context of the conversation to choose to voice ones opinion without these specific words. Discussion offers means to ask clarification and talk-out differences and arguments. It also doesn't take into account that not everyone knows English as their native language. So, if their opinions are interpreted as facts without I think/feel it gives the impression and context to not form opinions at all without the words. I'm sure we don't do this in person. It's always in context.

    An example would be if a Christian said, "being gay is a sin." He isn't stating a fact but a belief congruent to his faith. Since the context is he is a Christian and the topic convo is related, it would seem appropriate that his opinions are facts "to him." If other people take offense or take it personally, they need to come to terms with why they feel what they do over another person's religious opinion. On the other hand, if that same Christian said "being gay is illegal and people should all be straight" it is probably a good idea to support it or add a disclaimer but in general it depends on context.

    Also, I don't see a need for moderation for I feel/think words. Here are some means of proselytization. How Do I Lead Others To Christ? | Jack Hayford Ministries

    Proselytizing doesn't need to be rude or pushy. Oh. Good example of this.

    In the seekers forum some people come in and ask questions of what they should believe. They don't mention god, Christianity, or anything like that. Then a Christian comes in and instead of showing interest in what the other person wants to believe he puts interest in what he, the Christian, wants others to believe. So, they say come to God and show scriptures to get the "lost" to choose Christ. While genuine, it's not appropriate because it doesn't take into consideration what that other person wants and feels what's best for them. If the pros. doesn't understand that, it is usually not well received unless that other says he wants to know the Christian god and make remarks that lead to that type of support.

    I've heard one particular Christian here that said "god said we need to witness to all those lost. If you see someone in a house on fire, why wouldn't you want to save him." These are means to convert and context is the key because these types statements leads to more harm for many than good.

    But moderation? It's by context. Some people go off their biases and experiences with some religions which can cloud their decisions and posts. So, "I think/feel" should be a choice rather than a moderation rule.
     
    #8 Unveiled Artist, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  9. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Is this preaching/proselytizing?
    “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.”

    Well, that depends, does it?
    Is it preaching/proselytizing to claim to know God and know who goes to Hell?

    It as far as I can tell have nothing to do with religion as such, but goes deeper.
     
  10. Sw. Vandana Jyothi

    Sw. Vandana Jyothi Truth is One, many are the Names
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    Although I chose somewhat agree, I'm not sure how "somewhat agree" and "somewhat disagree" are different?? It's a matter of proportion, I guess, but the proportions aren't stated.

    Nevertheless, I "abhor" being proselytized verbally or in writing, including having JWs show up at my door to set my beliefs straight about the Kingdom, the vast majority of which I believe, I feel, I think have never actually experienced the Kingdom.

    Unveiled Artist skillfully banged the nail on the head, several actually, when she raised a point about opinions vs. facts vs. experiences. Souls are capable of having religious experiences which are not opinions (beliefs) but neither are they provable as facts because they are not experienced by and transcend the normal fact-gathering tools on hand, i.e., body, mind, senses, intellect, and ego. And woe to the member of RF who tries to tell of an experience like that. It's a fact (!) that there are as many fanatical, angry, arrogant atheists as there are fanatical, angry, arrogant believers.

    What ever rule RF comes up with, it should prohibit proselytizing while at the same time foster civil discourse.
     
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  11. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    1) Belittling Christianity
    2) Stating opinion as fact
    I agree, this falls under RF Rule 8 (double violation)

     
  12. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    I love RF Rule 8. It is the best.

    OPTION ONE: I strongly agree with the statement.

    Even if people don't (want to) follow it, at least they are educated
     
  13. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    I agree with this, aside from a minor nitpick of how do you convert someone to spirituality? It's not a belief system. It's more a way of life, a "lifestyle". If someone linked to a site for a healthy diet and exercise, is that proselytizing? Are links to a meditation or yoga sites proselytizing? What about cycling? That's can be a spiritual practice as well (it is for me).

    Grey area here. As others have rightly pointed out, every debate in the science vs. evolution forum is exactly trying to dissuade each other from what for many is in fact a religious belief (creationism is nothing other than a religious belief).

    Add to this, all debates where someone tries to persuade the other of their own points of view, could be accused of "preaching or proselytizing", by virtue of trying to have your arguments win the other over. That's the nature of discussion in general. Pretty much any post on RF could be considered that, if one were so inclined to see it that way.

    This is one I have always seen as flawed, and easily misused to silence voices of opinions. On any discussion forum, defacto, anything anyone says is "In their opinion", unless they are specifically experts in that field. And even then, it is still their opinion, albeight is it their expert opinion, which means it counts far more than other opinions based on nothing but their wishes and desires for something to be true.

    I've seen members with signature lines that say, "In my opinion", because apparently it's not clear enough that it is their opinion because they are posting their thoughts on an online discussion forum. It's a discussion forum. That means, a discussion their opinions. Everyone who posts here is doing just that. Discussing their opinions. It does not need to be explicitly stated.

    I find it artificial, stilted, and unnecessary to have to add that to stating our views on anything. Suggest dumping that one. It doesn't need to be said explicitly every time we state anything the other might disagree with, in order to "soften" the blow to their own opinions.

    Bottom line, I think that net needs to be a little more specific and targeted, rather than so wide it could be used to catch anyone who posts here in its net.
     
    #13 Windwalker, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  14. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Yes this is obviously an issue, at least in principle. Any argument relating to a religious stance could be taken as preaching in favour of, or against, that religion.

    But I think the actual application of the rule may be more to moderate people who make tedious spiels that address no specific point being argued, but are intended to convert people. So I think the rule is fine if used with discretion, sparingly - and I think one does need to have something like this in place, just in case.
     
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  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    The underlined portion seems impossible to moderate fairly.
    Violations are ubiquitous.
    How would staff decide which to allow, & which to punish?

    Moreover, why should it not include philosophy & politics?
    We're inundated with pronouncements of "The Truth"
    regarding things "not even wrong".

    Caution:
    The above is criticism of the rule, & of difficulties it imposes upon staff & civilians.
    It does not speak to staff themselves or to any history of moderation.
    IOW, it's about the system, not the parties to the system.
     
    #15 Revoltingest, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  16. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    I think you hit the nail on the head. "the rule is fine if used with discretion sparingly"

    Well done!
     
  17. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Christine's Uncle Fergus
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    Is belittling against the rules? In practice, this is so common regarding religion,
    philosophy & politics that it appears to be allowed.
    Belittling a poster vs groups of posters, appears murkier, ie, it's more prohibited
    against individuals than groups. The larger the group, the more it's allowed.

    Caution:
    This is just my observation of what the de jure & de facto rules amount too.
    It is not a criticism of moderators or moderation, but rather an attempted
    understanding of application of the rules.
     
    #17 Revoltingest, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  18. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    The concept is completely gray. One man's "proselytizing" is another's "stating facts". Therefore, I picked option 3 as the least bad option.
     
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  19. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Belittling is okay if you add IMHO:D (all are free to have their opinion).
    Belittling is not okay if done as a claim, as in the example of @KenS

    Note: But I would not do that.
     
    #19 stvdv, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  20. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Not necessarily. Many Christians fully accept that characters like Adam and Eve are mythological. For someone to say they are "fictional" for instance, is not about trying to debunk the faith. It's about trying to understand the nature of it, within the context of a religious faith. Mythologies are not "lies" to many, only a few. Mythologies are truths, greater than the facts.

    So you can see where someone, such as myself, could speak of them freely in such terms as is generally understood and accepted within the context of modern scholarship, without it being intended to tell other Christians they should lose their faith. It's about understanding of differences, not conversions. If we can't speak freely about this, without it being seen as trying to "preach", then that crosses over into a different type of message control, or 'orthodoxy'.
     
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