What a non-list of abusive remarks. All those were legitimate true comments. Abuse is primarily the namecalling -- I don't think you indulged in it, but roxrkool certainly did and Charles Knight. However, your insulting red herring of a caricature I consider abusive, as it was only intended to mock -- the one I commented on as idiotic -- it represents nothing any creationist believes. Schrafinator was arguably abusive in her insinuation that I had failed to remember the previous discussion and that she needed to remind me of her presumably correct comments; what I said in response was the truth about that exchange. You deserved to be suspended for what you did on that first thread, and you didn't get half of what you deserved.
This moderator's opinion of this list of brief excerpts is that they are just the type of comments rule 10 of the Forum Guidelines encourages members to avoid because they tend to make discussions personal and focus attention away from the topic. EvC Forum tries to encourage a "Just the facts, ma'am" style approach (for those of you old enough to remember Dragnet).
1. Omnivorous - I didn't actually mention Omnivorous' suspension. Now that it was brought up I'll say that I think that it is my opinion that it was treated far too leniently.
First of all: Faith, please accept my apology. I disagree with you profoundly about matters of profound importance, but that does not excuse uncivilized behavior, verbal or otherwise, and I genuinely regret my conduct. I promise you and the community that it will not happen again.
Modulous, I believe my violation of forum policies was treated less than leniently at the occasion, though somewhat leniently after some discussion. Overall, I thought the balance was correct, and I see no need for substantive forum policy changes, with the possible exception of mandatory apologies--I make mine freely above, but perhaps anyone who slips from reasoned discourse to insulting rant as I did should apologize before rejoining the conversation.
Immediately upon receiving notification of the suspension, I was furiously self-righteous: it seemed to me that Faith's post was an obscenity; mine was merely vulgar.
But upon reflection, I realized that one does not champion reason by shrieking insults: simple, really. What struck me most about EvC during my lurking, nonposting period a few months ago, was the amount of work that went into maintaining a civil, well-moderated debate regarding passionately held beliefs. However repugnant we may find another poster's beliefs, resorting to insult and vituperation ends discussion with no profit to understanding, example, or suasion.
But these are not lessons I learned recently.
You would have to go back, far back, in the Omnivorous Archives to find another instance of that sort of outburst. Unfortunately, at the moment in question, I was both strongly disinhibited by narcotic pain medication and distraught by the continuing "unaccounted for" status of dear friends in New Orleans. Faith's post was the final piece in an emotional "perfect storm" that led to verbal conduct I greatly regret.
As a relative newcomer, let me point something out to "my side": while discussions with Creationists may seem frustratingly circular or cyclical, the calm and scientific reply both expresses and embodies philosophically important standards, thus working as a powerful example.
It is not merely the ToE we debate, but the philosphical underpinnings of science: how to determine what is most likely true; how to see the world as it is, not as we would like it to be; how to define what counts as decision-making knowledge, and who decides.
Do not underestimate the cumulative power of sensible speech.
Modulous, I believe my violation of forum policies was treated less than leniently at the occasion...I see no need for substantive forum policy changes
That's fine. I wasn't proposing forum policy changes because of your interactions. I was mostly thinking of randman and my own experiences at creationist forums. The whole thing was inspired by those and crashfrog's recent suspension.
Your suspension was never really the issue, and I didn't bring it up. I fear that my point might actually have been somewhat miscommunicated if two people have somehow thought I was talking about your suspension.
I was talking about how intimidating it can be to debate an opponent that can decide you aren't debating in good faith and suspend/ban you...how that has caused issues with creationists here from time to time...and my suggestion on how it can be resolved.
AbE: I hope the status of yours in NO has been resolved in a positive manner, I can understand how you were feeling, I was less than rationale for that week.
This message has been edited by Modulous, Tue, 13-September-2005 10:29 PM
Nice to see you back, Omni. I hope things are going well for you in your recovery, as well as for your friends in their recovery. I think we can all share an understanding of the difficulty of both situations.
I wanted to address a couple of things you brought up in your post pertaining to moderation procedure. Since I am the admin that handled the situtation, I wanted to address your thoughts and give you an opportunity to discuss.
First, I wanted to mention... moderators are people too, and we react just as others. Your post actually upset me. "Indefinite suspension" simply means, "I know you need to be suspended, but for whatever reason, I don't know how long it should be for." Clearly your post called for you to be suspended, but I was simply too surprised and, honestly, upset, to address a rational thing like "length of time" right away. It took some cooling off before I could think. Then it took some discussion with other Admins to think of what might be appropriate.
I bring this up because I wanted to address your thought that you were treated "less than leniently" at the occasion. "Indefinite suspension" does not necessarily mean "a really long time." More accurate would be "not yet determined." I hope that can help address your initial concern when you were originally suspended.
Regardless, I'm glad to see your sincere apology, and I'm glad that taking some time to think about things helped you find another perspective on the situation. I think having a positive perspective on what goes on here really helps keep discussion at the right level and tone, so whenever I see it I feel that's a good thing.
I hope your recovery from surgery is going well, and that this board can serve as an interesting and fruitful way for you to spend some of your time during your recovery. See you around the boards, and again, welcome back.
No, you did not miscommunincate your ideas so badly
Modulous, I understood you clearly in your prior comments, and I felt they were thoughtful and helpful. I didn't intend my post as a critique of your ideas on the crashfrog matter.
I chose your post to hinge mine upon mostly because it was recent and contained a direct reference to my own suspension, so it seemed a natural place to join the conversation.
Also, questions of leniency were present in my own mind: I blush to confess that I, too, moderate at another, radically unrelated forum, and the question of how I would view my own conduct written there was an uncomfortable one. So I have been more thoughtful than vocal lately, walking in the woods a lot, without proofs or refutations...
Ben I never did completely understand what you considered to be on topic for your thread (YEC approaches to empirical investigation). I understand that nwr and I got off topic and that jar's challenge to me and my answer to him were off topic, but otherwise I thought I was on topic in most of my posts. But perhaps I did not grasp what the topic was that you wanted discussed there.
Actually Faith, you got suspended for being a "snotty Child". see Re: No, you have faith upside down & backwards (Message 161 of Thread Why read the Bible literally? in Forum Bible Study)
No, I got suspended from the science forums for that post which was not in any way combative. The "snotty child" accusation was a response to my removing the post, and it was rescinded when Nosy grasped what had actually happened about my removing the post. He had nominated it for a POTM simultaneously with suspending me from the science forums and I objected to having it put up for ridicule like that.
This message has been edited by Faith, 09-13-2005 10:46 PM
Here's Nosy's reason for shutting the Southwest thread in my face. I had been posting energetically on the science aspects raised on that thread. I was the only YEC doing so. It got moved because Nosy isn't in favor of my YEC approach to science, so he put it where I couldn't post on it.