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May 20, 2006 09:52 AM
by Eldon B Tucker
It's been less than a week, but it looks like it's time for another reminder to the list about proper behavior. Consider a few examples of personal criticisms. Frank asks Carlos, "Do you suffer from schizophrenia." Carlos mentions to Daniel that his "lack of in-depth perception of Esoteric Philosophy is a most important topic." Are there also examples of Carlos asking Daniel repeatedly the same question when he does not want to answer, or Daniel asking Carlos? How many times has Carlos asked Frank if Frank is an admirer of Adolf Hitler? Let's all behave ourselves. The rule here should be that each of us express our ideas, hear what the others have to say, and then judge for ourselves what we think the truth of the matter is. The rule is not that each of us barrages others with our views, ignores what others have to say, and then judges others personally based upon their willingness to accept what we say. Some discussions between Carlos and Daniel never seem to come to a proper conclusion. The same points seem to keep coming up without any resolution. There is much mention of distractions and avoidance of the discussion. With some of the points, it would be nice of the two would say what they think, rest their case, and move on to other aspects of the philosophy or its history to discuss. In a discussion, if the other person does not want to continue, it is inappropriate to continue questioning him or her. No one has the role of inquisitor or police interrogator. If someone will not answer a question after being asked twice, drop it and move on. Leave them alone. In a discussion when the same questions keep coming up and the other person replies with the same answers, it is also time to move on. If you are getting nowhere, it is time to acknowledge that people do not view things the same way -- not too hard a point to accept! -- and pick a different topic that may also be interesting to explore. Some lists are closely watched and participants immediately censured or expelled at the first sign of trouble. This list has been too far in the other extreme, allowing far too much ill behavior. Often people will catch on about their behavior, perhaps in response to what others on the list may say, but there have been rare times when intervention is needed. It would be nice if this were extremely rare, if ever. This list should be a place where a diversity of people can coexist, even people with strongly held views. Say what you think, but do it with self-restraint. Challenge the ideas of others, communicating what you think clearly and inoffensively, but do not tear apart the other people at the same time.