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Some members depart because of an insult.  Real or perceived.

 

Others leave because they were pounced on the instant the discussion was not longer at the polite/tea/crumpets/white gloves/cucumber sandwich stage.

 

I belong to another forum (not scouting related) with a subforum where people are allowed to scrap, at will.   Members are warned that if you have sensitive feelings, stay out.   Dust ups occur, people vent their spleen, things settle down, and the world balances anew. 

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But is that the expectation of a BSA forum?  I'm totally on-board with what Desertrat77 is saying about people being overly sensitive and a little leeway is allowed to a certain degree, but personal attacks against people rather than their ideas is pretty much out of the realm of scout-like behavior.

 

There's a difference between, "I have trouble accepting that religious principle in my life." vs. "You have to be a complete idiot to believe that mumbo-jumbo."  Both may be free speech, but one may have a lot of difficulty making Scout muster as an acceptable way of "helping other people at all times" and being "courteous", "kind" and "reverent."  Just because it's under the I&P section doesn't mean one leaves their scout hat at the door.  If that is one's acceptable mode of operation, one might want to look up the meaning of the word "hypocrite" in the dictionary.  It might help with understanding the point I am trying to make.

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@@Stosh, I completely concur with your position on scout-like behavior.   It should apply to this forum and every aspect of our lives.   Insulting another person's religion is always a foul.

 

On the other hand, there have been several instances where a couple of members are having a good old fashioned dust up about something.   No insults towards religion or family, just an exchange of several frank, pointed posts.   An argument.  Perhaps there is a rabbit punch or shot below the belt now and again, but the contestants take it in stride and press forward in their quest.

 

Then, on the sideline, from members not in the arena, the hand-wringing begins:   "this isn't scout-like....you are off topic...."

 

I disagree.   Let them duke it out.  I'd rather someone wire-brush me here at scouter.com, and get it out of their system, that vent on their family, friends, coworkers, etc.

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...or delete the I&P forum altogether.Limit discussion to Scouting-related issues. If they are Scouting-related issue that deal with politics (e.g., the recent membership issues) just don't talk about them. There's nothing WE can do about those issues anyway. Talking about them merely inflames people and you will never convince someone that their position is wrong.

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:)  There's another feature of the forum that is quite handy.  It's the ignore list.  Just put people on that and their posts don't show up on your feed. 

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Yeah, I'm on board with the idea of removing that area.  If it's inappropriate for the scouting stage, then it needn't be here.

 

I don't sort messages based on sub forums, so I really pay no attention to "where" it is.  I look at new message since my last visit..... so to me, the where it is, is simply Scouter.com.

I cringe at some of the posts here, realizing that our highly active numbers are low, and potential new members might be lurking and turned off by some of that stuff.

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...or delete the I&P forum altogether.Limit discussion to Scouting-related issues. If they are Scouting-related issue that deal with politics (e.g., the recent membership issues) just don't talk about them. There's nothing WE can do about those issues anyway. Talking about them merely inflames people and you will never convince someone that their position is wrong.

ussscouts has a politics free policy. As do other intensely moderated sites.

 

This forum could follow suit. But then maybe the fact that it doesn't is what makes it special?

 

Honestly, I've used what I've read from you all to help polarized boys empathize with their diametric opposites. If a topic devolves to cussing, I stop replying. Otherwise, I try to tie my fingers before anyone really gets put out. Price of admission, I figure. Besides, it's more fun to irritate by being nice ...  :ph34r: 

 

Guess I'd rather grow the thick skin than stop hiking rough terrain.

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I'm with qwazse on this one,  While it's a terrific resource and an opportunity to go in depth on some subjects, it doesn't make allowances for those who might not have the thicker skin.  I just don't know why the forum can't have courteous dialog on a political level?    We have 3 MB's on Citizenship, yet we are not allowed to actually use it?  What's with that?

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I'm with qwazse on this one,  While it's a terrific resource and an opportunity to go in depth on some subjects, it doesn't make allowances for those who might not have the thicker skin.  I just don't know why the forum can't have courteous dialog on a political level?    We have 3 MB's on Citizenship, yet we are not allowed to actually use it?  What's with that?

 

Have you seen the political races in the last ten years? Reality TV?

 

Society has degraded in to a throw away, I can get a new one, let's sling trash at people but empathize during anti-bullying week. Everyone is guilty of it, just some more than most...and I mean in society, not just here. It is human nature but the growing acceptance of this conduct in society in general is what feeds this.

 

Case in point: We recently had an adult who was essentially poison at any event they attended. Their Scout was similar. We invited them to find a troop more in line with their way thinking. One of our TC members thought that was harsh. They were the only one. ;)

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When I joined the forum in 2002, it seemed there were many more members than there are now.   And the fights...incredible, weeks-long, bare-knuckle brawls.    Even if they crossed the line (and often did), I still learned a great deal from all of the participants, even the ones I disagreed with.   Some folks left, but many more stayed.

 

Now?   One comment, one spat, and that's it.   Someone leaves the forum for good, the thread is moved to IP, folks shake their head at the barbarity of it all.   (I'm not talking about clear fouls, like religion or family.)

 

Be it in scouter.com, or in society at large, or at the national level, we have collectively lost the willingness to engage in debate.   If someone says something that hurts our feelings, or we disagree with, the trend is to call a foul.      Two members engage in a toe-to-toe argument.   Some see it as debate, others as a calamity.  Can we tell the difference in 2016?

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Have you seen the political races in the last ten years? Reality TV?

 

Society has degraded in to a throw away, I can get a new one, let's sling trash at people but empathize during anti-bullying week. Everyone is guilty of it, just some more than most...and I mean in society, not just here. It is human nature but the growing acceptance of this conduct in society in general is what feeds this.

 

Case in point: We recently had an adult who was essentially poison at any event they attended. Their Scout was similar. We invited them to find a troop more in line with their way thinking. One of our TC members thought that was harsh. They were the only one. ;)

Excellent point...there is a difference between disagreement between two people and someone who is just plain disagreeable.  

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One needs to remember that what is discussed is not a debate that someone needs to win or lose at.  Often times it is simply an expressing of differing views.  Krampus and I have differing views on some subjects here, but it in no way affects how I view him as a person.

 

But when people express different opinions one of them doesn't need to be right and the other wrong.  One does not need to attack the messenger to refute the message.  One does not need to demonize a person just because one doesn't agree with their ideas.  Yet I find that such antics aren't reserved just for the I&P sections of this forum or other forums set up in similar ways.  I go back into the 1990's with my forums and all I can say is the usefulness of such exchange of ideas has consistently deteriorated with time.

 

I think @@desertrat77 is correct, people today can't distinguish the difference between an exchange of ideas and an argument.  Our intolerance and hypersensitivity has made it impossible to discuss topics in a open forum setting.  It's unfortunate because a lot of learning can happen if allowed open recourse.

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