New rules effective June 21…
Rule #1: Posting must reflect every patron’s best mixed-company behavior.
Our community has more women than ever before. Mods will actively encourage a comfortable forum environment free of misogyny and general men’s-room behavior. Sexual references are not out of bounds but should only appear out of necessity to make a point in a discussion. Patrons can expect a shorter fuse on this issue. Bigotry has not been a problem here but is of course verboten.
Rule #2: Thread topics are not limited to Dr. Harris’s material or most recent podcast.
As long as there is enough coverage of The Boss’s stuff and other SH-like topics, we will be open to threads on almost any thinly related subject. Even a thread about Ben Stiller is okay. However, a thread about how much you like your new app will be treated as spam.
Rule #3: Language restrictions are a matter of personal taste. But who’s? Not yours.
Words used on the forum will have some restrictions. They won’t be based on our whims or prudishness. We will use a simple to follow standard. If it is a word The Boss (Sam Harris) uses routinely, then it is fine here. If The Boss doesn’t use it, then we don’t and mods will delete their appearance. No shit (not kidding). Repeated appearances will result in being blocked from logging in or, as a last resort, we will delete the patron’s account.
Rule #4: Every post and every thread of the forum will be work-place friendly.
This includes images attachments and enlarged or highlighted text. The reason for this restriction is to avoid The Nightmare Scenario. Some patrons may view the forum at workplaces or other public spaces where even a brief appearance of questionable material in mixed company is grounds for immediate expulsion and/or loss of livelihood resulting in hungry children crying themselves to sleep. Nobody wants that.
Rule #5: This is not an atheist-only forum.
Theists are welcome to join us as long as they come to discuss, challenge, be challenged or otherwise take a civil and conversational approach. Verbally abusing patrons simply because they are not theists (or atheists) does not qualify and will not be tolerated. Theists are just as diverse as atheists and we’ve ban-hammered both.
Rule #6: Threads have topics and let’s try to stick to them.
Patrons will do their best to respect the intentions of the opening post of a thread. That often means reading it all the way through and several seconds of contemplation. Quick and highly emotional responses are discouraged. If a thread author complains of being derailed, the moderators will enforce a stricter adherence to the topic by redirecting posts to Jar Management. Interrupting threads with name calling and mentioning spending time in a monastery will be consider Thread Hijacking and will also be turned over to Jar Management.
Rule #7: Vigorous intellectual combat is allowed and encouraged over forum topics and posters will be judge on their combat readiness.
Posters must be mentally healthy enough to participate in rough and tumble discussions with veteran patrons who can wield dismissiveness like numb chucks. While credibility is earned, civility is expected. Intellectual combat can and will be civilized at this forum. Those deemed unequipped to participate will be removed for their own protection and to avoid any possible liability.
Rule #8: Moderators (such as they are) will be the final judge of any poster’s intentions, civility and fitness to post.
Moderators will judge if there is intent to harm or degrade other posters or the forum in general. There will be one cautionary message followed by exclusion if both mods decide it is necessary. We care about the image of the forum and we will protect it. We may miss-judge your intentions but we will never miss-judge the forum’s public appearance. It’s our call. This can and will include, in extreme cases, editing a post. Such invasions would only be to indicate why the post is a problem. Most of the time, the problem is obvious and the post is deleted without explanation.
Rule #9: No poster may carry on in a manner exemplified by The Brother Mario.
For details, see The Dump or The Jar.