Thursday, December 09, 2004

I'm Going to Have to Insist...

Okay. When, in my role as moderator of this venue, I wrote:

"This ends here.
I mean it."

I meant the personalization of the comments; I didn't mean that all conversation should stop. Perhaps, however, the lull is an indication that the conversation has played itself out and that it's time to move on to a different topic.


Another thing. I'm affraid I'm going to have to insist. On what, you ask? On henceforth carrying out our conversation in more neutral terms. I understand that the topics we propose to discuss here are such that inspire deep feelings. However, if you can't express your argument in dispassionate language, then what you're expressing is not argument, it's demagoguery and that's not what this site is about.

Soooooo, I'm going to have to insist. Okay?


Blogger Samantha said...

OOOPS! This is me! I must say that when I first answered the call to write, I did not look down at the bottom of the website where you talk about neutral language...I just saw the guidelines in the post about # of words, no personal attacks, etc. After Mike said I was breaking the guidelines I went and looked, although I knew that you, Craig, had approved my entry.

I do think that I would not have written at all if I had known your desire for neutral language, because I think there are forums that warrant more graphic language, and euphemisms can cause the seriousness of an issue to be disregarded. For example, calling adultery "an affair".

I sincerely apologize if my entry has been the cause of degenerating this topic!

12/09/2004 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Frankly, it was for this very reason, namely, the desire not to inhibit anyone from expressing their opinions, that I originally rejected making this a hard and fast rule.

Taking emotion-filled verbiage and converting it into neutral terms has the benefit of revealing weaknesses in one's argument. If your case, stripped of emotive language, lacks in reasoned argument, then more thought is needed. It's a matter of mental discipline.

No one, least of all, I, would deny anyone the right to feel deeply about an issue as divisive as abortion. In fact, it would be inhuman to not feel deeply one way or another. However, emotional argument usually leads to a great deal heat but little light. It also decreases the likelihood that people of opposing opinions will approach agreement.

You, however, are not to blame for what appears on this blog; as editor, I am.

12/09/2004 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Hi, Carig. I have been thinking a lot about your thoughts on neutral language vs. demagoguery, and I wrote an entry trying to sort it out over on my blog. If you have time, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thoughts About Neutrality in Language

12/09/2004 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/09/2004 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

As moderator, I have removed an anonymous comment. The reason is that it was off-topic and therefore irrelevant to our conversation.

12/09/2004 10:24:00 PM  

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