Moderating a forum like God & Science, on which so many very bright people with exceptionally strong viewpoints and wills can be very challenging. It calls for a delicate balance which the mods readily admit we've been far from perfect in achieving. It is absolutely impossible to be perfectly fair to everyone, all the time.
Our collective goal as moderators is to make the forum as effective as possible, as well as a safe place for open discussions of ideas, views and beliefs, AS LONG AS they do not violate the rules of the forum. Yet, for quite some time now, there has been a consensus amongst this site's moderators that it has become painfully obvious we need to be considerably more strict as to how we respond to a minority of forum posters who are sometimes deliberately offensive in their posts, and particularly so whenever they show a great lack of respect, by PERSONALLY attacking another forum member – which is a FAR different matter from merely being critical of an IDEA, STATEMENT, or BELIEF someone might hold, but that is disagreed with. There IS a civil way of asserting someone's position is wrong without personally attacking them – and yes, this takes self discipline and grace.
Every so often, we will have a big argument break out, which becomes increasingly heated, and devolves into a "he said/she said" spiral of back and forth, relationship-damaging venom. In carefully discussing this issue, the mods are in complete agreement that this must stop, as it is VERY destructive, not only to relationships between forum members, but also to the very mission of the forum – which is for it to be used in facilitating a deeper understanding of Christ and Scripture to the world, and to encourage the pursuit of belief and faith by those who do not yet have faith in Christ.
In light of all this, we now have a more detailed "Moderating Policy" which can be found at the end of the Board Guidelines. Please understand this new Moderating Policy is to make the forum more friendly, harmonious and beneficial.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the new 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.
Please carefully read over the updated Board Guidelines & Moderating Policy.