These discussion guidelines have been developed to outline the purpose of this board and expected conduct of those who participate. Administrators and moderators are responsible for enforcing the rules, and can moderate at their discretion to ensure that the desired spirit at these boards is maintained. Such moderation may include messages being edited or removed with or without warning, and/or posters being suspended or banned.
SPAMMING THE BOARD WILL NOT HELP YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKING! This is because the entire discussion board is off-limits to all search engines and is NOT indexed by any. So, don't bother to post your spam links here.
This board is a part of Evidence for God from Science (G&S), a Christian website, which serves to provide a defense and persuasive case for Christianity as well as encouragement and instruction for Christian people and seekers. It is important that everyone who participates on this board is aware of our board purpose.
The God and Science website is rated "family friendly" and for "all ages", so please keep your words clean. Some words considered inappropriate have been blocked, and attempts to get around a blocked word by inserting a space or character will not be tolerated.
Within discussions, please be civil and courteous and do not resort to personal attacks. If you feel inappropriately attacked, please bring such cases privately to a moderator who can then intervene as necessary. While these instructions are likely unnecessary for the vast majority of participants, here is some biblical advice to help serve as a guide for conversations:
- Write in a manner that you would want others to write to you - "in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).
- "But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth." (Colossians 3:8)
- "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person." (Colossians 4:6)
- "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us." (Titus 2:7-8)
To have a constructive discussion, there are at least four main requirements:
- At Least Two People: This point should be obvious.
- A Specific Topic: All conversations should have one specific topic, and as such should remain on that topic. Any new topic that forks out and is too far removed, should be started as a new thread or brought to a moderator's attention.
- Knowledge: It is not expected that you should be thoroughly educated on an issue before commenting about it. At the same token, it is impossible for us to know everything. So if a topic is new to you or you don't know much about it, then it is good to spend some time researching to increase your knowledge before writing.
- Self-control: Chances are you will disagree with someone, and it is at this point discussions can turn nasty. Please remember to be respectful to others and keep to the topic rather than resorting to personal attacks.
Plagiarism is not accepted here. Any information gotten from another source must be referenced in some way. In most cases, all that is expected is a single link along with who you quoted. All Bible quotes must also be cited.
The trustworthiness of sources and quality of references should also be determined, otherwise you might end up embarrassed. There are many ideas floating around on the Web, and the quality can generally be judged by where it came from. For example, you should be wary of sources that are predominately "opinionative", don't appear "educated" on the issue, or lack "professionalism". In addition, refrain from continually using references that have already been outrightly shown as false.
Misquoting is also frowned upon and will be cause for intervention by a moderator. It is best to quote an entire sentence, even paragraph if possible. However, quoting a few middle words where the authors intention clearly does not support your case is dishonest so will not be accepted.
Spamming will not be accepted. By "spamming" we mean links advertising commercial or inappropriate websites, posts only containing links, and/or posts containing massive amounts of text uninspiring to discussions. Such posts will be moved into the "Garbage Bin" or deleted by a moderator at their discretion. Active posters wishing to place links to a personal or related website in their signature are welcome to do so.
A moderator reserves the right to deal with any post they deem inappropriate, including for reasons not specifically mentioned here. If you feel unjustly dealt with, please contact the moderator in question directly and privately. If you have any questions on issues not covered here, please contact a moderator for advice. Comments regarding these rules of conduct are also welcome as long as they are constructive.
- Moderator policy basics on posting and warnings: Any time we see or are made aware of anyone having made an unnecessary, provocative, mean-spirited, or potentially inflammatory statement – whether deliberate or not - that the moderators perceive will be likely to pointlessly cause hard feelings and relentless argument, and/or a general disruption of forum peace, then that poster will receive one of two types of warnings (dependent upon the judgment call of a moderator): A) A warning to IMMEDIATELY discontinue whatever the moderator has deemed offensive; B) A warning which may or may NOT indicate that it is okay for the poster to continue his or her assertion point(s) in the thread, yet ONLY with either a much more diplomatic phrasing and removal of any further personal attack and/or its noted previous potentially offensive portions or tone.
- Depending upon the severity of the particular transgression: A previous post that a mod has first deemed a violation of policy might be automatically deleted, and the poster will be subsequently warned not to continue in a likewise manner in a any subsequent posts. Or: A warning with general specifics has been issued and a poster persists, ignores and disobeys whatever the mod's instructions were in his initial warning, at which point the poster WILL receive a mandatory ban of THREE days from forum posting privileges. And: If a post is deemed an especially serious violation and/or the poster has already been repeatedly warned for similar and other offenses, the poster is likely to be banned (for a period to be determined by moderator discussion of the infraction).
- How warnings will be issued / what they might include:
There may be a mere general instruction as to some aspect of what a poster should not subsequently continue. Or, a warning might well contain some brief but instructive specifics, including quoted outtakes, as to why a poster has been warned, or as to why their post was deleted, etc. This is ONLY designed so that A) others reading the thread will understand the moderator's reasoning, AND B) it is also designed to be instructive, so that other forum members will realize what is not allowed, and why.
- What the immediately above does NOT mean: Many forum members have a diversity of views that are in stark conflict with those of others members or moderators – and that is certainly to expected. The mods here are not the “pc police” - in fact, political correctness has absolutely nothing to do with our moderating policies. Frankly and honestly expressing opinions is not only highly valued on the forum, but is a critical and necessary part of facilitating an ongoing, productive, beneficial dialogue. So, merely expressing one's personal views, perceptions, and ideas, no matter how offensive their assertions or implications might be – whether OEC vs. YEC, theism vs. non-theism, evolution vs. non-evolutionist / or Progressive Creationism, Christianity vs. non-belief, false doctrines, agnosticism, or atheism, etc. - these are absolutely fine!
- But what is totally unacceptable are any statements or tone that are merely personal attacks, mean-spirited – verbiage that is likely to be perceived as mostly meant just to tick people off – really uncivil language that any reasonable person would likely deem as being a mostly personal attack. That said, people with one view or belief may well be offended by the beliefs of another – which is to be expected. And so even radically opposing views can be discussed, as long as it done honestly, respectfully, and in a civil manner – virtually whatever that view or idea might be.
- In addition to the above, further things which will not be tolerated: One of the very few things that are not allowed on the forum are people here with ONLY or mostly some type of anti-Christian or disruptive AGENDA (please read the accompanying Board Purpose). The moderators will not put up with trolls or those only here to argue and cause trouble. Lastly, not to be tolerated, are any expressions of support or verbiage encouraging criminal activities including, but not limited to, sexual and physical abuse, or posting of explicit images or other offensive material. And while you may intensely debate Christian beliefs, a continual or demonstrated disdain or disrespect for Christians and their beliefs will also not be tolerated.
- Recourse for Poster's Response after a Moderator Warning: As of immediately, at the point after which a poster has received a warning, that poster: A) MUST completely comply with the moderator's instructions in a warning. B) After being warned, a poster CAN take up his or her point of view, clarifications and assertions with ANY or even ALL of the mods, but ONLY privately so! And, of course, if a warned poster's privately conveyed assertions are deemed of merit, then they most certainly will be fairly considered – potentially to the point of the mod(s) posting subsequent clarifications in the thread.
- Most important and NEW aspect of the above addition to the moderating policy: There will be absolutely NO further continued PUBLIC arguing (past a warning, in a thread) over ANY aspect of what a poster has been warned about! Again, while a warned poster cannot continue a PUBLIC discussion over their warning, they CAN engage moderators privately, to argue or lobby their contentions and views concerning their warning. It is important to emphasize this new addition to policy is NOT designed to censor or temper the civil discussion of ideas and beliefs, no matter how extreme they might be - as long as they do not violate other aspects of our moderating policy.
- The new policy additions have but ONE collective aim: Maintaining a safe, respectful environment of all types of discussion, and to prevent unnecessary bickering, the damaging of relationships, or damaging the perceptions of those visiting the forum, per the harmful perceptions hostility and arguing are likely to produce, concerning the forum's atmosphere, values, and how forum rules are enforced. The moderators ARE here to keep harmony on the forum, and to operate it in a spiritually productive, Christ-honoring manner. So please learn to challenge or disagree with a Christ-like attitude, which can and ought be done!