RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Passed1

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This is the archived discussion for Guidelines that passed consensus and are now on Community Standards.

May 23rd 2007[edit]


0. This is a mobocracy. Kewl :)

CP Sysop Personalities[edit]

3. Personal "attacks", however justified. Frowned upon or encouraged?

  • Prob avoidedPalMDtalk 13:37, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
  • And usually unnecessary -- simply quoting them is enough. --Jtl 14:33, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
  • Much as I would like to (and sign all my posts with that stupid f'ing "*") no. Zero 14:36, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
  • Frown. We're better than they are. --WikinterpreterTalk?

3B. Insulting versions of usernames (eg, a$$fly). Frowned upon or encouraged?

  • very temptingPalMDtalk 13:37, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
  • mentionable, but would like to remain professional, as is possible. However, not specifically against the rules. Zero 14:38, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
  • How about keeping that to talk pages? or even just user talk pages? Just to be nice? I mean, you know we'll have a file on Aschlafly, and will the first heading again be "The A$$fly"? I think that would strain our credibility as a group, although if I refer to him as such on godless' talk, it's only my reputation I am impugning. human 19:17, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
    • Maybe we need a manual or style or some-such? I personally prefer "Ashfly" It's mocking w/o being overtly vulgar. (It is also a play on "fly ash", which was a type of gross pollution back in the days before the Clean Air Act.
~~ Crackertalk 10:16, 19 May 2007 (CDT)
  • I cast my vote on neither, not worth caring about. --Helios 01:14, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
  • Why offend with style, when you can offend with substance? --Gulik 03:13, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
  • Frown. As above. Their actions speak for themselves. --WikinterpreterTalk?
I think they are best avoided. But isn't this obvious? Does it need to be explicit in a guideline? --Bob_M (talk) 12:08, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
I added this potential guideline because, well, on v 1.0 there was a fair amount of such sniping. I wanted, I guess, to make sure we didn't devolve into that here? Though I think it is less likely now that we have a healthier hobby than CP - working on this site! humanbe in 12:26, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

No personal info[edit]

Avoid posting personal information about others, even when obtained from the usual public records. Of course, identifying an editor from one wiki to the next (e.g. KDB=conservative, etc) seems kosher enough. I would just hate to see someone's personal info get posted, then have them get some stalker-of-convenience start to bother them. PalMD 09:55, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

I don't know of a way to establish the CP:Conservative/WP:KDBuffalo/creationwiki Creationist equivalence without going through a link which uses a (presumed) real name. Is the fact that he uses it frequently on message forums enough to make it okay? Or maybe we just assert it and leave proof to the interested reader? --jtltalk 13:59, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't think it is ok at all. Unless someone self-identifies on here, they shall remain known by whatever user name they are using wherever they are using it. I just don't think that level of detective work is fair to anyone, no matter how despicable they may be. EG: if we are discussing TK at CP, his email can be listed since it is on his page there. If you only had his email from him replying to you, that wouldn't be cricket to post. Just my .02. humanbe in 14:35, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
I am in general agreement with the vibe here I think. I just get annoyed with the fact that the CP sysops use information you give out about yourself to attack you. But the high road and all that.....Tmtoulouse 14:39, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
It would seem reasonable to incorporate this instruction.--Bob_M (talk) 12:02, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Play Smart, Spel Rite[edit]

4. Please, please spell and grammar check before hitting "save" - just as we mock others' stupidity, we will be mercilessly quoted. It's "rein", not "reign"... etc.

  • I think i cna agre with thsi. Zero 14:38, 18 May 2007 (CDT)
Secunded. Airdish 06:13, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

Good Links[edit]

1. When referring to stupidity or hilarity something in an article on "another wiki", please try to use permalinks or difference links, as the stupidity or hilarity reason for commentary might be gone before others can see it. Also, diff links show who the editor was that wrote the text in question, proving it wasn't (or was?) vandalism.

1B. The one place this is difficult is the Main Page at CP. The two big boxes are actually outside files, which do have histories, etc. A link to any "main page" there always returns the current version. These two files are called (left: template {{AboutC}}) and (right: template {{newsline}}). (make these links better)

May 24th 2007[edit]


I propose that the Essay name space be used to place articles that are complete works by one author. The essay can then only be edited by that author. It will be well marked by a template as an essay, who it is by, and directing people to the discussion page for community reaction. Other essays can be written in response if desired.

The main article namespace will be for works that are suppose to be collaborative, they are not marked by author, and can be mercilessly edited by anyone.

I think the conservapedia namespace should be similar to the article namespace. Tmtoulouse 18:26, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

I agree re: the essay vs. article space. Ditto the CP namespace. Does that template exist yet? Should I try to make one? humanbe in 19:38, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
I agree. --TK /MyTalk 05:00, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I think if TK and I agree, that's about the best consensus you'll ever see. This policy should be promoted to the accepted guidelines. IMHO. humanbe in 13:55, 24 May 2007 (CDT)


The one feature that I think that Conservapedia got right was the debates page, ie. there was a space to discuss contentious issues and just exercise out intellectual muscles. What about it?--CatWatcher 06:54, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

I agree completely. --TK /MyTalk 11:31, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Second. This would be a valuable forum to help inform articles. Flippin;-) 11:38, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Third, I guess I'll ask Tmtoulouse to create the namepace Debate: humanbe in 13:55, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Your Castle[edit]

6. User page space is inviolable; user talk page space is public and may be archived, but not deleted.

  • I see there is no comment on this so I suppose it's accepted by all? --Bob's your uncle 09:23, 14 September 2007 (MDT)
Probably? By the way, I also intended this to apply to sub-pages in each space. And why are we using TK's asterisk on this page instead of colons? human 13:48, 19 May 2007 (CDT)
Asterisks should be a blockable offence. No questions asked! No answers given! Mad Min 10:45, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
What about fixing broken code? For example, TK's userpage (before it was replaced with the "goodbye" image) appeared to be broken in Firefox (the entire Navigation/Search/Toolbox appeared WAY too far down). Should users be allowed to fix such things (one of his tables wasn't closed)? --Sid 04:18, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
I think an alert on their talk page with the offer to fix it would be the best move there. ColinRtalk 22:31, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
  • I think both user and discussion pages should be included in the castle idea. Public spaces, discussion pages for articles and debates should be public. Otherwise you will have some users using their user pages. What then? Another ad hominem attack above I see....what I was promised wouldn't be here, certainly is. --TK /MyTalk 04:44, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't quite understand your point here TK. Surely it's obvious that talk pages must be public. Anybody can post on a person's talk page - that's what its for. Also I don't really understand your point: "Otherwise you will have some users using their user pages." Presumably you meant to say something different - but what?--Bob_M (talk) 05:19, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
  • What exactly I meant to say, I said. Pages such as this one, should always be saved, archived, whatever. The Libertarian in me also says that a user's pages should be just that; theirs. Since public discussions involve the community, they are public property. Like a park. But just because anyone can post on your talk page, makes it no less "yours", and you should be free to dispose of the contents as you wish. Obviously deleting to deny something was said is something the Bureaucrats should handle, and not a big issue I should think. Least it hasn't been on other sites I have used. And what of someone who decides to have all convos posted on their "user" page? Does that mean they would be free to delete those? I think it is way too right wing to try and impose community control over something that belongs to a user, by the device of saying anyone can post there. Well, anyone can chose not to post there as well. If they fear their golden eloquence being deleted, they do have the option of moving the conversation to a public space page, no? I hope this helps make clear my thinking, Bob. --TK /MyTalk 05:29, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Much clearer. Thank you. Good point. I wonder what others think. But I'm still not sure that I understand your sentence: "Otherwise you will have some users using their user pages." --Bob_M (talk) 09:44, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Without making both pages totally under the control of the user, someone, someday, could start posting on their user page, and others will answer them there. I have seen that happen many times at CP. Once it gets going, it essentially turns the user page into a discussion page, but it is still, officially, their user page. Then under this proposal, they would be within their rights to delete it all. See? If you guys are going to welcome vandals and everyone else, why put controls on a users page? That's a bit more like CP and other places than I really like.  ;-) --TK /MyTalk 09:50, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I support the proposal as originally written (user page is a user's; user talk page is the community's). assuming that the user talk page belongs to the user, then arguing that making it the community's is taking it away, merely assumes the argument. We should use peer pressure to encourage discussions to happen on talk pages rather than user pages, but if that fails, oh well. And arguing that some ownership is too much CP, and the solution is to be more like CP, makes no sense to me. --jtltalk 13:42, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

May 6, 2011[edit]

Forbidden topics for discussion[edit]

Old community standards

Discussions here sometimes get heated, but resorting to personal attacks is strongly frowned upon, however justified they may seem. In particular, racist, sexist and homophobic language and insults are not tolerated.

Proposed revamp

Discussions here sometimes get heated, but resorting to personal attacks is strongly frowned upon, however justified they may seem. In particular, attacks incorporating racist, sexist or homophobic language are not tolerated.

Proposed, that it be clarified that the current prohibition against "racist, sexist and homophobic language and insults" applies only to personal attacks containing such language and/or insults, so that in the future it will not be misinterpreted to justify shutting down debate on certain topics, as has been done recently. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you present that as a proposed change to existing language ("side by side")? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:29, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Done. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:35, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, I support the proposed change. Blue Talk 05:02, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks LX. I'm on board, not that that is good for much. It might make you more enemies than friends! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:11, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps. But people like Nick Griffin and Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Cameron owe much of their momentum to the fact that many of their opponents think they can just make them disappear by uttering the magic epithet, "bigot." Mr. Schlafly, I think, feels the same way about "liberals." Closing down dialogue like that encourages intellectual laziness on the rational side and makes it look, to the uninformed observer, as if the people who closed down the dialogue are trying to dodge the questions. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:40, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I just meant that me, personally, agreeing with you might be worse for the cause than better. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:18, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Support, FWIW. ТyTalk. 08:05, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't support. I can see where you're going with this regarding open debate, but at the same time I wouldn't be OK with users putting up "no niggers" signs on their userpage & suchlike, regardless of whether it's directed against an individual or not. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:45, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
If someone other than LX wants to propose this, I'm all in. I think it's a great idea. Occasionaluse (talk) 12:55, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

I support this proposal. --(((Zack Martin))) 13:04, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

The page which was deleted was:
An I correct in assuming that this change would allow this title and associated content?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:15, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it does not look like we've ever demanded neutrality in debate naming. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:37, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Since the title of the debate was itself a racist attack, the I don't think it would stand either way. Blue Talk 22:46, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I support the change to the wording. That debate is difficult to call. Since that debate would turn into "Do white people have intellectual and material superiority?" instead of "Why do white people deny their intellectual and material superiority?" I'd be inclined to rename it. We shouldn't have debate titles that presume racist ideas (that white people are intellectually superior) to be correct, and I don't think that debate would be allowed under the new wording. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 23:21, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Should we demand that debate titles don't presume creationist ideas? Or Asatru ones? What's wrong with debating a premise? "It's offensive" isn't a logical argument. Just because you find the idea that whitey has the "intellectual and material superiority" over your average brother offensive doesn't mean it's not true. Debate it or ignore it. Occasionaluse (talk) 23:29, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm saying that debate titles shouldn't presume " racist, sexist or homophobic" ideas. Firstly, because they're offfensive, and secondly, the debate would focus on the premise of the debate, not the actual debate title. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 09:20, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I think it is enough that debate titles be accurate, and not contain loaded questions.
Weaseloid, if you are worried that the modified policy would not cover a "no n****rs" attack on a user-page, I for one would be fine with adding another clause explicitly barring racist/sexist/homophobic language from non-talk space. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
A debate based on a loaded question is probably the easiest one to win. Aside from that, are you implying that essays based on fallacious/erroneous premises be deleted? If the offender's debate had been instead framed as an essay, would it have stuck? What if it had been phrased as a hypothetical (i.e. "Why would white people deny their intellectual and material superiority?")? Are you saying that we're not allowed to debate something hypothetical? Occasionaluse (talk) 03:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I was not implying that. Furthermore, I am uncertain how you got the idea that I was, as the word "essay" did not appear in my post. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:07, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
No shit you didn't say "essay". I'm drunk, not retarded. Why let users base essays on unproven premises but not debates? Occasionaluse (talk) 04:11, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I will postpone further answers until you sober up. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:14, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

"We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue." That is all. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:10, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Human, I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying that dialogue should have been allowed on the debate or that the debate itself could not possibly have been contructive? Occasionaluse (talk) 03:50, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
He is being Classic Human. I wouldn't pay it much attention. Blue Talk 04:24, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I can't see a reason for deleting a debate just because the title is offensive. We could always rename it. I am quoting our main page. "We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue." Blue, fuck off. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:49, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for partaking in this social experiment. I recall a minor debate I had with PFoster regarding David Irving and his holocaust denial. I am of the opinion that imprisoning someone for thoughts that they have in their head is a grievous and terrifying injustice. Similarily I find a weird adversion to debating extreme ideas here, in which debate is stifled under the pretext of offensiveness. This is the internet and you should prepare yourself to be offended. Therefore I created a semi literate sock ('Duke'), someone with intolerable opinions, in order to ensure that this 'policy' stood up to sufficient scrutiny. Policy reforms require explicit examples, the mini spectacle was more useful than someone simply posting up such a reform without any immediate examples.
Brought to you by the Rationalwiki Reform Society... MarcusCicero (talk) 10:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean the Debate:The Rationalwiki Reform Society? You proved nothing other than we are flexible, and that none of us are perfect. ħumanUser talk:Human 11:05, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
PS, it's not an experiment unless you lay out the terms in advance (somewhere). ħumanUser talk:Human 11:06, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

As a large majority of the commentators here appear to be in favor of the new wording, is it time to close the discussion and adopt the change? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I think so. Blue Talk 03:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
How about throwing up an intercom to get some more disagreement/ideas first? At least let this be here for a week before making the final change - which I approve of, but am leery of "quick" decisions to change such an important page/policy. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:33, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I will put up the intercom message. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:39, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate that. What little procedure we have on RW, we should honor. I am not trying to delay this, just make sure everyone's on board and stuff. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Rubber stamp. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:58, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
So we are clear then that this change will allow the debate title and the comments associated with the post? Because if it doesn't allow the post and associated comments I'm not sure of the purpose of the change.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
That is to say, this one: Debate:Why do white people deny their intellectual and material superiority?.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:07, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It's a totally loaded question, no doubt. But what difference does it make? Will the very fabric of civilization itself the wiki be destroyed if we let some racist post a debate question? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:11, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
(EC) This change would only make it impossible to change the title on the grounds that it is racist. On the grounds of it being a loaded question we would want to change it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it (I thought), the important issue is that it was deleted. I'm not happy with that. Renaming, who cares. And people saying nasty stuff on the wiki? I don't want us to the be the free host for metapedia refugees, but then again, money for nothing and chips for free. Healthy debate and all that. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Renaming doesn't change the content of the "debate". I really don't understand what all this commotion is about. You said you don't want this website to become a free host for metapedia refugees, so what's the problem? Ponder Stibbons (talk) 08:00, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm also confused by the objective. It could be renamed under the current standards. I would also encourage you to look at the ten lines of deleted text which followed. Would they be allowed under either standard?--BobSpring is sprung! 08:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)--BobSpring is sprung! 08:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the change add the words "attacks incorporating". I dunno, at this point I am lost. What ten lines do you mean, Bob? And I still wonder why the "linked" essay doesn't exist, if it ever did. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:00, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. The lines of racist text that came after the heading of the deleted debate. It was deleted, have a look with undelete.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I resurrected it for the interim for ease of discussion. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Support. The fewer restrictions, the better. The word 'forbidden' gives me shivers. --UnicornTapestry (talk) 10:00, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I support this point.--Bertran (talk) 21:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

And how about this[edit]

Debate:Why do white people deny their intellectual and material superiority clearly created and defended by a bunch of trolls to exploit theis debate. How can we one one hand debate deleting JimJast's garbage, and yet quite happily keep this racist filth on the wiki?? What possible rationale is there for that? Racist comments are racist, there is no middle ground. --PsyGremlinHable! 14:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif Blue Talk 16:51, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
No, it's bullshit. Racist comments are racist, but that doesn't mean they're wrong. It doesn't mean racism (actually, racial propositions) are not debatable. Shutting down a debate simply because the subject matter offends you is completely illogical. Occasionaluse (talk) 17:11, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
For once, I agree with Occasionaluse. We debate creationists here, when they come around, even though creationism and racism have an identical amount of scientific basis.
As for JimJast, we are only deleting his essays, not the debates to which he is a party. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:29, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Given that the entire nature of the debate was to incite rage for the amusement of some internet troll with too much time on their hands, I really don't see why the deletion of this farcical page is causing so much discussion. It seems rather like we're playing into the hands of the troglodyte who created the page in the first place. Herostrates comes to mind. --Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 14:51, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Because RationalWiki is concern troll heaven. Ponder Stibbons (talk) 16:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Is that really a given? I don't care so much about the page itself, I'm worried that people here are so illogical as to declare racism to be un-debatable. (talk) 14:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Looks like our favorite troll is now worried about burning too many socks and has resorted to IP's.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I may or may not have socks (and my primary account was banned by a fucking newb who can't even add), therefore racism (or even propositions based on race) is not debatable. QED. Gold fucking standard, old man. (talk) 15:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
So get one of your socks to unblock you.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:26, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Am I the only one who will note that racist, sexist and homophobic remarks are attacks in the first place? They are not based on rational criteria, and are irrational statements. We don't need to pander to people being straight up offensive for the sake of being offensive. What happened to "Don't feed the trolls"? Delete their articles and move on. Should we tolerate a debate page: "Why is Rationalism wrong?" or "Why is Science so retarded?" RationalWiki has never put itself forward as neutral or perfectly tolerant... as noted, we welcome people for CONSTRUCTIVE debate. Having a flaming racist spout his filth all over our site does not produce constructive dialog, let alone debate. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I think "attacks" in the context of RW:CS apply from user to user. What no one seems to understand is that racial premises, no matter how offensive (or even wrong) can still be debated, therefore we should allow them to be debated. What problem people have with crushing racism in debates, I have NO FUCKING CLUE. "WAAAH!!! We're legitimizing racism by factually dismantling it!" Yeah, makes shit tons of sense. You're all a bunch of dickbag pussies. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
How about this for a nice compromise? You allow free speech to reign and attempted to assert fascism in some other corner of the internet? MarcusCicero (talk) 21:26, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Conservapedia would be a good place to start. Let the debate rage.
Censure, never censor. ©UnicornTapestry (talk) 21:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Here, here. --Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 23:40, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Am I the only one who will note that racist, sexist and homophobic remarks are attacks in the first place? Could you elaborate on that point, please? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:29, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Will people quit deleting the page we are discussing/using as an example for a bit? Please? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Will people quit deleting the page we are discussing/using as an example for a bit? Please? what the fuck. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Why is urgent went it is just a small change? Colbert|FanThere are socialists than there is everyone else. 20:37, 23 April 2011 (UT

Is the essay seriously meant?[edit]

I think, given MarcusCicero's admission that he doesn't really believe the content of his essay, and just created it to prove a point or get a reaction, it is fair enough to delete it. That said, if a more serious racist came here (e.g. some of the folks from Metapedia), I think the rational thing to do would be to hear what they have to say, and then refute it, rather than just say so obviously wrong we aren't even going to try. Reasonable refutation is the path of reason; believing some ideas are so wrong that there is no point trying to even answer them is the path of irrationality. Otherwise, Conservapedia could announce that "Liberalism is so wrong there is no point in trying to even answer it", and this place would have lost all rational grounds for complaint by taking the same approach itself to a different issue. --(((Zack Martin))) 03:44, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Whether it's seriously meant or not, it serves little to no purpose other than to incite anger and hatred. I'm sure most intelligent right-wingers (yes, we do exist) would be willing to discuss Liberalism even if they don't agree with it just as atheists are willing to discuss religion. Like Scientology, racism is too ridiculous to be considered but while Scientology is just harmless nonsense, racism is an incendiary and unpleasant subject that is best ignored. When you see a spider in the middle of the floor, you don't spend a while analysing it, you just jump onto the nearest chair and fling a heavy object on top of the spider. --Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 16:19, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Poor spider ... why don't you just let her eat cake and maybe she goes away? You right-wingers have a peculiar way of treating animals (supposedly our younger brothers and sisters in evolution).
As I uderstand the debate is over, so I'm against the change since I'm of an opinion that "attack" is subjective term while "insult" may be easy to define. Eg. with a "list of no-no-insults", which however, as far as I know life, will prompt the right-wingers to invent new ones. JimJast (talk) 17:40, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Let the spider eat cake? Then it'll get bigger. And assuming it goes away, what if it comes back? Shudder. --Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 18:15, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
We have time to worry when it gets back. Not when it's dead. You have to think about the funeral and cleaning the mess too. It seems better to feed it and let it go hoping it never comes back. It is a left-winger attitude (do as little as possible).
BTW, coming back to our dispute above about insults: may I call this charming creature showing her nose from the attic reminding us that our time of logging expired, a "pussy" or is it a sexist insult. Though I know for a fact that some ladies here like to play with their pussies a lot so I think it isn't. JimJast (talk) 10:13, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I think saying that racist ideas are too ridiculous to warrant refutation ignores how racism spreads - a lot of people, including people you would think of as reasonable and intelligent, have at least tendencies to racist thought. It is just an inherent part of the way the human mind works, the tendency to stereotyping, confirmation bias, looking for patterns that aren't there, need for someone to blame, etc. Now, these people, encountering some seemingly reasonable racist argument, may be inclined to accept its conclusions. If other people can rebut the racist argument, and point out it is not at all reasonable (even if it seems to be to some), then maybe such a person will end up rejecting the argument's conclusions as a result. But if people think it is not worth rebutting, those already inclined to accept its conclusions are more likely to do so. If your aim is to stop the spread of racism, the better approach is to refute the racist's arguments, rather than treating them as beneath response. --(((Zack Martin))) 12:18, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Back on track[edit]

Hello. My first day here at RationalWiki. Can't begin to tell you how reading this debate assures me that I've found a haven for rational thinking in this turbulent internet. My $0.02 worth:

  • The sample question offends me not because it smacks of racism but because it assumes my agreement with a premise before it poses the question. This is the 'loaded' question that others have mentioned. If this thing was really a test then that's the first place to fail the test - in the structure of the thinking, not the content.
  • The proposed change is quite sensible: that racism (etc) is not to be used in personal attacks. It deliberately and reasonably leaves racism etc open as topics for discussion. There are lots of good reasons to discuss bigotries, and it would be a pain in the arse to live in a world of constant indirection while talking about them.
  • The weakness of the proposal is that, as one commenter observed, it seems to leave a door open for racism (etc) to be used in impersonal attacks. It's a pity that rationalwiki is not the lawyer-free paradise that I was hoping to find.
  • If I can paraphrase the goal of this community, it is to fight against non-thinking and to campaign for rational thinking, yes? So where it comes to the bigotries, that would mean fighting against the bigotries by discussing critiquing / satirising them, and refraining from engaging in them... wouldn't it? So with that as our guide, wouldn't the rule be something to the effect of this: Attack ideas with as much passion as you like - passion is good. As long as you stay rational. Do not display bigotry in any form. The moment you do, you've lost your claim to rational thought.Capnvague (talk) 12:08, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Renaming is not censorship; note that as a newcomer you have no way of viewing the content of the example, or commenting on the debate... to me, that is censorship. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:01, 28 April 2011 (UTC)


This is a fairly liberal community. If someone comes here spraying out holocaust denial, racism, or homophobia, I think that the condemnation of most of the editors should be enough. If they continue to make essays (or debates) for no other purpose than inciting hatred and strife, then they can be blocked. After they are blocked, all of their essays, debates, and contributions could be erased. That seems like the best way to deal with the problem. User:Lefty

Reversion of offensive mainspace edits, sure. But deletion of their commentary? Has anybody read the main page recently? Just refute them clearly and well, if we are so right, then move along. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)


Time to take a vote on this. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:14, 30 April 2011 (UTC)




  • Before we vote on this it seems to me that we should have consensus on whether this proposed amendment would have made a blind bit of difference to the way we handled the article which prompted the proposed change. Some seem to say "yes", others "no". If we can't agree on what impact the proposed change would have then there is little point in voting on it.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
That question is irrelevant, since (1) the rule change will not be applied retroactively, and (2) the disagreement did not relate to the proposed change, but was over whether other reasons would suffice to delete or rename the debate-page after the change had been made. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:32, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait, what? The whole point of this exercise was to satisfy the concern trolls who objected to the deletion of the essay, now you're saying it won't apply to that essay? -- Nx / talk 09:17, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
It seems to be the case. Also where did the "will not be applied retroactively' come from. Is that just an excuse for people like ListenerX is leave their racist screed on RW? If the rule comes into affect that ALL racist attacks fall foul of it. You cannot have a situation where it's ok to have something now declared offensive on RW simply because it was there before it was declared offensive. To say otherwise is just lame trolling. --PsyGremlinHable! 10:32, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Nx, I meant that the debaters here seem to be in full agreement over what the proposed change would mean vis-a-vis the troll's debate page, only disagreeing on unrelated points, such as whether it could be deleted as trolling. As the person who started this "exercise," my purpose was to prevent further gaming of these standards to close down debate; I could not care less about what happens to the debate page.
Psygremlin, by the "retroactive" remark I meant quite the opposite, that this rule change did not need to be used as an excuse to resurrect the deleted debate. As for what comes after the second sentence, you will need to write more legibly before I can attempt a response. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:51, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm still confused by this. The motion started with the statement by LX.
  • Proposed, that it be clarified that the current prohibition against "racist, sexist and homophobic language and insults" applies only to personal attacks containing such language and/or insults, so that in the future it will not be misinterpreted to justify shutting down debate on certain topics, as has been done recently.
What had been "done recently" was the deletion of the racist page. Presumably, then, the purpose of the change would be to ensure that the racist page couldn't be deleted. If not, there would seem to be little reason to reference it as the principal reason for making the change.
So the question is not "irrelevant" at all - it's right up there at the start of the debate. So I ask again - what difference would this change make to the way that that page was handled? --BobSpring is sprung! 09:55, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
If you will click on the link formed from the words "has been done recently," you will note that my example of what had been done recently was not the deletion of the debate page. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:03, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
OK. I see. I really thought that you were arguing more against the deletion than against the existing wording which justified the deletion. But isn't it the same thing? Isn't one a consequence of the other?--BobSpring is sprung! 09:10, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
No; the debate can still be deleted as trolling. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:11, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Wait, are we voting on whether or not to censor RW? In which case I vote "NO". You pussies need to get over yourselves. We are bigger than that. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:42, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Huh? All the votes so far have been against the sort of censorship that is under debate. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:47, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I think it was valid to delete MC's essay, but only because he admits he didn't seriously mean it and just wrote it to try to prove a point / get people wound up, and it was very brief anyway. But if a more serious racist came here, like one of the Metapedia sysops, I think the right thing to do would be to point out the errors in their arguments, rather than just delete their essay. So, I think this rule change is valuable, even if it wouldn't make a difference to deletion of MC's essay, because it makes a difference to those other potential essays. --(((Zack Martin))) 10:43, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Ah. So it's OK as long as it's sincere?--BobSpring is sprung! 16:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)


  • Yea: 6
  • Nay: 0
  • Goat: 1

Carried. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:11, 6 May 2011 (UTC)