Recap of the series so far
Freedom of speech is incredibly important in building a respectful, pluralistic society. We believe that everybody should have a voice, and the means to express it. We condemn any attempt by any government or individual to suppress an ideological point of view through coercion.
That said, comment moderation does not suppress freedom of speech. If we delete your comment, you still have the freedom and ability to voice your opinion elsewhere. While we will support your right to voice your perspective, that does not automatically guarantee your right to pontificate in the comments at ldsphilosopher.
Comment moderation here at ldsphilosopher is done at the sole discretion of Jeffrey Thayne and Nathan Richardson. We don’t have a detailed set of criteria by which we make these decisions. We may not always be perfectly consistent in our enforcement, either. However, there are few guiding rules that are basically non-negotiable:
- Any comment that attacks on the LDS church, its doctrine, or any of its leaders will be immediately deleted. There are two main reasons for this: First, there are other websites similar to this, where the writers try to converse about church doctrine and religion in an intellectual way. Sadly, many of these sites are populated by writers and commenters who feel that their learning and education qualifies them to dismiss—and even disparage—the teachings of Christ’s spokesmen (both ancient and modern). For this reason, many faithful Latter-day Saints get the impression that advanced academic learning and loyal adherence to church teachings are all-but-incompatible. Here at ldsphilosopher, we hope to demonstrate otherwise. Second, for the same reason, other sites of this nature have become places where religious belief is deconstructed rather than fortified. We hope to create a safe environment where faithful Latter-day Saint readers can discuss ideas that are sacred to them without fearing that others in the forum will attempt to jeopardize their loyalties to the Church or weaken their resolve to live by Christ’s teachings.
- Any personal attack against the site authors will be immediately deleted. We welcome disagreement. If you think we are wrong in how we interpret a point of doctrine or philosophical idea, let us know. But back up your argument with reason, not ad hominem attacks.
- Any personal attack against other commenters will be be immediately deleted. We will defend all commenters—even those we disagree with—against ad hominem attacks as well. We will not tolerate name-calling or disrespectful conversation.
- Any disagreeable comment that doesn’t offer a substantive counter-argument will probably be deleted. We can’t respond to a comment that only says, “I think you’re wrong.” If you say we’re wrong, give us a reason why. Otherwise, your comment just creates a negative atmosphere. We welcome disagreement, but we won’t put up with hecklers.
Again, we are trying to build a particular kind of environment here at ldsphilosopher—an environment that builds faith, strengthens resolve, and cultivates testimony. We reserve the right to moderate any comment that we believe doesn’t contribute to that mission, however arbitrary it may seem to others. In addition, we refer to J. Max Wilson’s article: “Bite the Wax Tadpole: A Manifesto for Internet Conversation and Debate” for further insights on what to expect from us, and what we expect from our readers and commenters.
We thank you for visiting our site. We hope you enjoy it here, that you engage in conversation, and return frequently. We hope to get to know you, and that you get to know us. And we hope that you’ll see that, despite this “draconian”-sounding set of rules, that it’s very easy to discuss—and even debate—ideas freely and openly without violating any of them.