A Word About Our Moderation Policy
|March 12, 2009||Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design|
Some commenters have raised questions regarding the propriety of recent posts and UD’s moderation policy. UD’s moderation policy is fairly simple: As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opening this site up to nasty juvenile name-calling fests like one see so often at Panda’s Thumb. But if you keep your comments restricted to ideas and not attacking people, you should have no problems passing muster here.
What about the “God-bashing” and the defenses of God that have appeared in these pages? God can take care of Himself. We at UD feel no need to protect Him from defamation. Bash away. Those who are offended by (or disagree with) the bashing are welcome to post such defenses as they deem appropriate. There are limits, however. This site is not intended to be a forum for extensive religious debates. Religious issues inevitably come up from time to time and people should feel free to discuss them from both sides when they do. But the moderators will exercise their judgment and gavel discussions that stray too far a field from the purpose of this site for too long.
I personally find the God-bashing disturbing. So why do I allow it? As one of my colleagues has aptly said, the wiser course, when someone attacks God is to let those UD commenters who are theists respond to the charges. Our readers will then be in a position to see: (1) that UD, unlike the Darwinists, doesn’t ban or censor ideas; and (2) that theism in general and Christianity in particular is quite capable of defending itself against lies, distortions, illogical arguments, and misunderstandings. Our role is not to censor ideas but to provide a forum where hard questions can be discussed calmly, fully, and fairly, and we trust that when that happens truth will prevail.
Certainly there is risk to this approach. Some will reject truth and embrace error. But the consequences of pursuing the alternative course – ignoring or even running from the hard questions – would be far worse.
Finally, some have asked whether we should even discuss “peripheral issues” at UD, such as Darwin’s racism or the implications of ID for the theodicy. This site is devoted not only to scientific theories of origins, but also to the metaphysical and moral implications of those theories. Plainly BOTH Darwinism and ID have implications beyond the science. Certainly Darwinsts like “intellectually fulfilled” atheist Richard Dawkins understand the metaphysical implications of Darwinism and talk about those implications ad nauseum. What hypocritical balderdash for anyone to suggest a double standard prohibiting those of us with a different point of view from doing the exact same thing from our perspective – and we will continue to do so.