Thread closed? (forbidden discussion topics)
A thread with a discussion of Christianity was recently closed because it wandered into the forbidden areas of religion and politics.I don't quite understand why these areas of discussion are not permitted, particularly in a "General Discussion" part of the site, but that's none of my business, the rules are the exclusive prerogative of the operators, I would never dispute that. The difficulty I have is that it isn't clear what "religion & politics" exactly means. A while back a post was hi-lighted marked "important!!" and kept at the top of the first page in the General Discussion area. This post was VERY political. It was in regards to guardianship pet laws. What could possibly be more political than a proposed law?? Laws ARE politics. The thread was something that was relevant to all herpers, regardless of what an individual's opinion on it was. The point is that herp keeping in itself is an activity that has a definite political side to it, laws regarding the hobby are frequently discussed on this site without any suggestion that these discussions are offensive. So simply saying "no politics" is sort of meaningless in my view and it seems to result in the arbitrary closing of threads. The same is true when saying "no religion". There were many 9/11 anniversary threads with many responces that had discussions of Islam and other faiths as well as general discussion on morality. Morality also comes up in the discussion of herp keeping in general (most frequently I've found on the topic of how to put down prey items. Is it cruel to feed live mice? Is it cruel to freeze rodents to death? Cruelty is a moral subject.) The reality is that it's impossible to seperate these topics from the threads that are actually about herp keeping let alone the general discussion area. As I have already said I respect the operator's right to make whatever rules they like and I'll obey them to the full extent of my ability (do you realize how hard it is not to swear sometimes?LOL) I would just ask that they are clear and evenly applied. If you can't discuss politics then there should be no discussion of laws of any kind. If you can't discuss religion, (which is actually just a form of existential philosophy), then it follows that discussions on the morality of different herp related topics (like how you kill a rat) also can't be allowed. The problem with having these blanket rules is that they cannot be evenly applied and the result is that they aren't enforced at all in some cases but they are unfairly applied in others. I think the goal is to stay away from fighting and stupid bickering that hot topics can sometimes bring. I think that the way to do that is to just ban personal attacks or threats of any kind directed at other members, anything else is just too complicated. These rules seem to translate in practice to "no debate", maybe that is closer to what is intended, but I hope not. Debating and attacking or insulting are different things and that's where the distinction logically should be made. It's much easier to understand that than to try to decipher what the words "political" and "religious" mean. Sorry for the long rant but I am quite confused about this.
I feel a little light headed... maybe you should drive...