Check Your Guns At the Door

Jim Elliff has some good thoughts for frequent bloggers and commenters:

http://ccwtoday.org/article_view.asp?article_id=186]Christian Communications: Check Your Guns At the Door ,

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Rob Fall's picture

the thread was on whether or not to allow open or concealed carry during services. Sad

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

PLewis's picture

Rob Fall wrote:
the thread was on whether or not to allow open or concealed carry during services. Sad

Laugh - so did I ...

skjnoble's picture

haaahaaa! Now that's funny!!! Smile Smile (Sorry to disappoint you.)

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

I understand those who are discouraged with internet communication. The fact is that it really isn't any different than face-to-face as far as tone and content goes, it's just that there is so MUCH of it.

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You certainly should not write your comments to Christian writers or fellow bloggers like you intend to bruise them with your words. You should not write so as to put down the person. Rather, love for Christ and for brothers or sisters should be reflected in kindness and respect, even when you disagree.

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I don't mean to say that you cannot be clever, but there is no excuse for being ruthless, even when you oppose.

IOW, stop trying to beat people to death with your keyboard.
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Don't expect that the author of the piece you are responding to intended to say everything that can be said about the subject.

This is a very good point to remember, and why forums can be a great thing, because related issues can be brought up and addressed. But I feel sorry for authors who submit articles, only to be thoroughly critiqued for what they didn't say instead of engaging with what was actually said. At least do the author the courtesy of discussing what they wrote first, and then bring up points not made and explain why they are relevant.
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It is certainly not courteous to be long and tedious with your observations and advice.

Amen and glory halleLUjah.
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Some responders cover their own pet agenda time after time, and it almost makes no difference what the original article is about.

This I actually find humorous, even though it is annoying.
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...this does not mean that we should never disagree in writing, but we should do so thoughtfully, with respect.

I learn more from people with whom I disagree, because I am forced to thoroughly examine the underpinnings of my beliefs, and sometimes even revisit the resources I've depended on for support. Sometimes I find flaws I didn't see before, but other times I find myself strengthened.

It wasn't always that way, though. I shudder to think of how I used to behave online- it's embarrassing and shameful how often I went into a conversation wearing rancor and arrogance like a suit of armor. I know I still tend to appear a bit abrupt, but I haven't figured that one out yet.

I really enjoy a hearty back-and-forth, especially with someone who is witty and quippy, and can take what they dish out. A little bit of that here and there is FUN. But- it is distracting and discouraging to wade through line after line of schoolyard shin-kicking, and I wish the folks who engage in such would realize how much damage they do to themselves.

There was a Filings post awhile back linking to http://measureofdoubt.com/2011/05/26/how-to-argue-on-the-internet/ "How to argue on the internet" .
The author walks us through their posting thought process:

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DRAFT 1 (My first impulse is to say): “You idiot, you’re ignoring…”

Duh. Get rid of the insult.

DRAFT 2: “You’re ignoring…”

I should make it clear I’m attacking an idea, not a person.

DRAFT 3: “Your argument is ignoring…”

This can still be depersonalized. By using the word “your,” I’m encouraging the person to identify the argument with himself, which can still trigger a defensive reaction when I attack the argument. That’s the exact opposite of what I want to do.

DRAFT 4: “That argument is ignoring…”

Almost perfect. The only remaining room for improvement is the word “ignoring,” which implies an intentional disregard, and sounds like an accusation. Better to use something neutral instead:

DRAFT 5: “That argument isn’t taking into account…”

I thought that was a great example of how we can truly sharpen and be sharpened in our online debates.

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