If you haven’t read the other pages yet (“About Me” and “About the Blog: Purpose”), please start there. If you have already read those, then you’ll know that I’m all about broad and integrated knowledge; so if you’re expecting this blog to cover a diverse array of topics and disciplines, you’d be right. Because of that, there will be many topics and disciplines covered on this blog, not all of which I expect to be of interest to you. (If that’s the case, don’t feel bad; I should hope no one expects anyone to like everything, and I won’t be offended—really—by any topics you chose to ignore.) To that end, I’ll do my best to label posts sensibly so that you can pick and choose the topics you think you’ll most enjoy and avoid any you’re not too keen on.
Relatedly, some of the topics covered may be ones that are considered to be controversial and that have proven to be highly contentious, so it is especially important that comments and discussions be kept civil; otherwise, it could make for a very unpleasant experience. (I’ve learned that lesson from Facebook…oops! But here’s to learning from my mistakes. Behold the value of history.) So, in light of that, should you feel compelled to comment, I ask that you abide by a few simple rules.
First of all, there are to be absolutely no personal attacks in comments, neither of me nor of another reader (especially the latter). Aside from the fact that ad hominem arguments are philosophically tenuous and logically impotent, they are incredibly disrespectful. So, if you disagree with me or another commenter, check your emotions at the door before responding and please comment in a thoughtful and respectful way. Negative comments will be deleted without hesitation and without further explanation.
Secondly, please do raise questions and give critiques in the comments; but, again, please do so in a well-mannered, reasoned, and respectful way. I enjoy a good debate and I enjoy being challenged in my thinking (after all, that’s how we grow), so if you disagree with me or take issue with what I’ve said, I want to hear your comments. But, I won’t appreciate derogatory remarks, nor will I give them much credence. (If an emotional attack is your only response, it indicates that you either don’t have a valid logical response or aren’t currently in an emotional state to have a polite, logical discussion.) But, if it’s a particularly long or involved comment, or if it’s going to be on the more contentious end of the spectrum, please consider using email instead of the comments sections.
Finally, we all have our biases (myself included), so try to read and comment with an open mind. I am strongly opinionated and I hold to some traditional beliefs, but that doesn’t mean I have arrived at them blindly and without reason, so please don’t assume that that’s the case. I do enjoy being challenged, and I enjoy being asked questions and having my beliefs questioned, but I do not appreciate (nor should I) being questioned simply for the sake of holding those beliefs. It’s one thing to challenge one’s assumptions; it’s another to challenge his ability to make or hold certain assumptions or to assume that he hasn’t thought carefully about how he came to have his beliefs. Civil debate breaks down the moment someone accuses another of being unable to make decisions for himself. So, please, present evidence, challenge assumptions, and make conclusions, but don’t make the decision for someone else; in doing so, you will have unrightfully—and presumptuously—asserted yourself, derogated the other person, and all but destroyed your chances of persuading the other person through means of civil discourse.
In summary, respect—nay, higher than that, love—is the law of the land, so love and respect one another. And since none of us is perfect (including myself), that brings me to my final rule: hold one another (including me) accountable to these rules. Call us out—but with respect, please (see the above rules)—if you see us violating a rule. If we can’t trust one another, then it’s going to make this journey of discovery and knowledge hard, if not impossible. Vulnerability is a requirement for intimacy and growth, so let’s work together to make this a safe place for being thusly vulnerable so that we can grow and learn together.
So, in the spirit of true camaraderie, let’s love and respect one another, exhort and encourage one another, and learn from and teach one another, discovering together that the more you know, the more you can know.
D. R. Meriwether