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Toward a Forum Philosophy for SI, Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Argue like a Saint

megaphone.jpgVerbal communication is one of God’s favorite inventions. He created speaking beings in His image and then spoke to them. Over the millennia, He gave visions to prophets and commanded them to speak or write what they had seen. And He inspired select prophets to write His words as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. He gave us a book.

So whenever we use words, we’re doing something of personal importance to God. And since we believers are at peace with God through Christ and represent God to a world that does not know Him, our writing and speaking carry that much more importance.

We should not be surprised, then, that Scripture has so much to say about how we use words. And we should attend energetically to how that instruction applies to posting in Internet forums.

The Proverbial Gold Mine

Here we’ll focus on Proverbs. It’s packed with instruction for how we should and should not use our mouths, and it applies well to the verbal communication challenges we encounter in forums.

In Proverbs, words never simply exist. They are tremendously powerful forces for good or ill.

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Toward a Forum Philosophy for SI, Part 2

Read Part 1.

This article is the second in a series on forum philosophy from a Christian point of view. The series aims to lay some philosophical groundwork as part of the process of finding a new Forums Director for SI. It also aims to build unity around some of the why’s and wherefore’s of forum administration, consider biblical principles that should govern how we speak to one another, and wrestle with issues like respecting others’ expertise, anonymity, and limits on free speech.scales2.jpg

Egalitarianism

Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité!” Such was the cry of the newly empowered common man during the French Revolution. “Liberty! Equality! Brotherhood!” Historians debate how often these words were used in this combination, but the motto certainly captures the spirit of the time—especially the égalité (equality) part. Jean Jacques Rousseau had trumpeted the equality concept years before in his 1762 book Social Contract. Some, though, see égalité in a much older source.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28, NKJV).

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Toward a Forum Philosophy for SI

From the beginning, the forums have been one of the most interesting and difficult things about SI. Their interesting yet troublesome character is due in part to elements of Internet culture inherent in them. But that character is no less due to the fact that we, as Bible-believing Christians, have truly unique motivations and restraints to consider in shaping forum Computer xsrc=life. So a clear forum philosophy is necessary as a basis for our forum policies.

This is the first of several articles that will appear over several weeks on the topic of forum philosophy. My goals for the series are several. For one, Dan Miller has worked hard and served well as Forum Director, but would rather return to a regular Moderator role. So we’ll need to fill the FD position sometime in the coming weeks. I’ll be laying some philosophical groundwork for the forums, partly with the goal of helping identify the right person to take that job. He and I will need to be much of the same mind on the major philosophical points.

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