Purgatory Guidelines

edited March 5 in Purgatory
Pull up a chair, get your brain in gear, and prepare for some serious time in Purgatory. This is where your ideas, views and beliefs can be refined and made fit for Heaven! Purgatory is our serious discussion space – where theological, ethical, political, social and cultural issues are discussed. Most views are welcome – orthodox, unorthodox, radical or just plain bizarre – so long as you can stand being challenged, but do look at the Ship’s 10 Commandments so you know what we consider unacceptable. Please read this in conjunction with our FAQs too. Before you jump into the fray, take a look at these guidelines for posting.

1. No personal attacks

We all have different opinions about weighty matters, some strongly held. Disagree with the view, not the person. The statement, "View X is ridiculous," is acceptable. The statement, "Person X is ridiculous," is not. But if you must take exception, Hell is the place to take it.

2. Expect to be disagreed with!

This is how good debate is conducted. Questioning of your opinions should be taken as a compliment about their weight. Try to be aware of the need on a global forum to consider geographic, linguistic and cultural differences. Remember you have a large and diverse audience looking in, whose norms may be different to your own. Both posting and reading can be costly to people because of their personal circumstances. Personal statements should be respected by other posters, even when they disagree; potential readers should be respected too.

3. Be courteous in your debating style

And remember that others might not agree with your definition of respect and consideration. If you err, unambiguously sincere apologies are always well-received here.

Try to be aware of the need on a global forum to consider geographic, linguistic and cultural differences. What's acceptable in your corner of the world, may be perceived differently elsewhere.

If you have a pressing need to reference dehumanising views of identity groups or specific slurs used against such groups, please use spoiler tags to hide the pertinent phrases - so Shipmates are not obliged to read them repeatedly. Such phrases should never appear in thread titles.

We consider that some topics are sufficiently sensitive that they require their own space, with a different emphasis - these include discussions about topics of identity where people are personally invested, where academic detachment just isn't possible, and where issues and identity significantly overlap. Threads of this nature should be started in Epiphanies; if they are started in Purgatory we will either move them, or close them and invite the poster to frame a suitable opening post for Epiphanies.

4. Stick to the point!

When starting a new thread - please think carefully about what you want to discuss, framing the opening post so the focus of the thread is clear. It may be helpful to add some links to materials that inform the ideas or topic you wish to discuss, be aware that links should be at least two clicks away from anything non-worksafe (for example material that is graphically sexual, violent or extremist in its content). This is a global forum and readers may not be aware of aspects of the situation or local terms that seem obvious to you; if you wish to discuss a topic relating to a specific country, denomination or within some other specific context it will be helpful to say so. Non-English terms should be translated.

Please do not wander off into unrelated issues or social banter. There are other forums on the ship for these pursuits.

Using issues where people are personally invested as analogies in unrelated discussions has a tendency to drag threads off course toward those issues, as well as excluding people personally affected from the discussion, so please avoid using them if at all possible.

Where a thread develops multiple tangents that may be worth their own threads, hosts may use the forum software to split the thread and keep the discussion more focused.

5. No preaching!

Purgatory is not the place to impose your particular view on others or consign them to Hell (the real Hell, that is). Preachy threads may be closed by the hosts!

6. Your hosts

The Purgatory hosts are @BroJames, @la vie en rouge, and @MaryLouise.

They edit and supervise the running of Purgatory, you can PM active hosts if you would like to ask if something is suitable for the forum.
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