Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.
Post Reply
binocular
Posts: 4124
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by binocular » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:57 am

Given that some posters express so much grievance over some posts, topics, and posters (such as in the thread Who needs enlightenment when I have my opinions), I suggest the following:

1. Ban any and all meta-Buddhist discussion, add this to the TOS.
Make it against the TOS to bring up or discuss topics such as "How do I figure out which Buddhist school is the right one?", any other topic concerning religious choice, any topic concerning issues of provenance and authority of the Pali Canon.

2. Add to the TOS clarified criteria for membership, so that it will be clear who is welcome here and who isn't.
Make it clear that this is a religious forum. That means, among other things, that even though a religion nominally addresses people's personal concerns, this forum is not intended for resolving those concerns. Religion requires submissiveness and obedience. If someone isn't submissive and obedient, they have no place in a religious establishment of any kind, and that includes online forums.

- - -

If you think this is draconian, think twice. It just puts into words what so many people believe about religion and expect from people in a religious setting, as is evident from the grievances they express.

It would actually help everyone if such criteria would be posted, as it would take out all the uncertainty about what is allowed and what isn't.
Things would be far easier and more peaceful for all involved.


If nothing else, try it out for 30 days and see what happens.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 18645
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:09 am

Greetings binocular,

I'll admit, I struggle to work out how to take your suggestion, because I'm not sure what is literal, what is pessimistic, and what is facetious.

To summarise the situation:

Anyone is welcome here, so long as they can abide by the Terms of Service.

If some people are intolerant of other people and their actions/speech/views, then that aversion is for the intolerant ones to find a way to deal with...
At Dhamma Wheel, we respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy. As such, the staff here will not enforce reverence to anyone or anything, nor censor speech gratuitously. In keeping with this respect for your autonomy, we expect you to be personally responsible for your own emotions and responses.
The words of complainants therefore do not reflect the views of the administration.

It is the Terms of Service that determines what is acceptable and unacceptable. Where someone believes they have been breached, they're welcome to enact the Dhamma Wheel complaints procedure.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

binocular
Posts: 4124
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by binocular » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:54 am

Thank you for the speedy reply.
retrofuturist wrote:I'll admit, I struggle to work out how to take your suggestion, because I'm not sure what is literal, what is pessimistic, and what is facetious.
I am serious. I mean everything in my OP literally.
At Dhamma Wheel, we respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy. As such, the staff here will not enforce reverence to anyone or anything, nor censor speech gratuitously. In keeping with this respect for your autonomy, we expect you to be personally responsible for your own emotions and responses.
I don't understand how this in accordance with Buddhism (and Buddhism being a religion). If the above would be said at a non-denominational forum, it would make sense to me, but now it doesn't.
?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 18645
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:38 am

Greetings binocular,

Perhaps this might help you understand our position...

David and I make no attempt to position ourselves as authority figures, spokespeople or representatives of Theravada Buddhism. We are simply two men who wish to provide an environment for people to discuss Theravada Buddhism and allow them to investigate whatever aspects or applications of the Dhamma are of interest to them personally.

The moderators, in turn, are people who are willing and deemed able to serve this community by upholding and maintaining that environment through consistent, unbiased and impartial execution of the Terms of Service.

We have consciously and intentionally eschewed the authoritarian structures you refer to, having witnessed the corruption and abuses of privilege and power that can result.

In my opinion, the motivation behind any urge to control, suppress, change or silence others is worthy of honest reflection.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

R1111
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by R1111 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:36 am

Id like a forum where its moderated by criteria for right speech and only 10 topics for discussion, but its probably not going to work out in practice as i dont think many people want this.

Fwiw i think its working out pretty well as it is atm and i dont really see much reason to mute non religious opinions although it is kind of makes me wonder when one is called a fundamentalist or extremist as if it is a bad thing on a Theravada board.

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1084
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by No_Mind » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:06 am

binocular wrote: 2. Add to the TOS clarified criteria for membership, so that it will be clear who is welcome here and who isn't.
Make it clear that this is a religious forum. That means, among other things, that even though a religion nominally addresses people's personal concerns, this forum is not intended for resolving those concerns. Religion requires submissiveness and obedience. If someone isn't submissive and obedient, they have no place in a religious establishment of any kind, and that includes online forums.

- - -

If you think this is draconian, think twice. It just puts into words what so many people believe about religion and expect from people in a religious setting, as is evident from the grievances they express.

It would actually help everyone if such criteria would be posted, as it would take out all the uncertainty about what is allowed and what isn't.
Things would be far easier and more peaceful for all involved.


If nothing else, try it out for 30 days and see what happens.
I have few questions .. asked without any antagonism
That means, among other things, that even though a religion nominally addresses people's personal concerns, this forum is not intended for resolving those concerns.
So one cannot share the view that one does not believe in rebirth? One cannot bring a problem of OCD or alcoholism or obesity or dilemma with killing rats to this virtual sangha?
If someone isn't submissive and obedient, they have no place in a religious establishment of any kind, and that includes online forums.
Submissive to what/whom? The credo of the Buddha Dhamma is ehipassiko -- come and see. Asking about one life model of Dependent Origination is I guess not submissive enough .. shall it be banned then?
It would actually help everyone if such criteria would be posted, as it would take out all the uncertainty about what is allowed and what isn't.
I have not seen or felt any uncertainty and I am by far the most controversial member currently.

At most CE, Politics and News section maybe deleted after giving members time to import whatever links they want to their browser bookmarks. That will stop most of the squabbling (not only lock that section but delete its contents and the sub forum).

As it is there is very little participation from rest of the world. S. America is represented by Lucas, Asia by me and Sarath (Bundokji has left). Of the two active Asian Americans, Mkoll is absent. There are no less than 30 Indian members who log in but never write .. presumably their interest has been aroused due to spread of Goenka meditation retreats and Q and A in Quora but they unlike me probably feel intimidated and do not participate.

Active European members consist of you and Buddha Vacana at times and a few more like Kare who rarely participate now.

There is complete lack of diversity with 99.9% posts coming from USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/dhammawheel.com

11.2% traffic to DW is from Thailand, 7.1% from India. Do you find 18% questions/posts written by Thais or Indians?

On top of this censorship? I do not see how that can work out.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

binocular
Posts: 4124
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by binocular » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:53 am

I have started this thread out of frustration over seeing the same complaints over particular posters and topics.
No_Mind wrote:
binocular wrote:That means, among other things, that even though a religion nominally addresses people's personal concerns, this forum is not intended for resolving those concerns.
So one cannot share the view that one does not believe in rebirth? One cannot bring a problem of OCD or alcoholism or obesity or dilemma with killing rats to this virtual sangha?
Look at what happens when people try to resolve their personal concerns with the help of discussion here: someone gets offended. They feel offended by the topic itself; or by the poster not taking up some advice quickly enough; or some such.
It seems that if such personal topics would not be discussed, then those people wouldn't get offended.
Submissive to what/whom? The credo of the Buddha Dhamma is ehipassiko -- come and see.
Submissive and obedient to whoever expects this from you.
Some people believe that the "come and see" means to submit to their way of thinking about the Dhamma. Something like when someone invites you to their garden to admire it, and then you are only allowed to look and not touch, and tread ever so carefully.
I do not see how that can work out.
I think it warrants an experiment.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 18645
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:06 am

Greetings Binocular,
binocular wrote:Look at what happens when people try to resolve their personal concerns with the help of discussion here: someone gets offended. They feel offended by the topic itself; or by the poster not taking up some advice quickly enough; or some such. It seems that if such personal topics would not be discussed, then those people wouldn't get offended.
If people are offended, intolerant, or experiencing aversion then that burden rests with them.
binocular wrote:I think it warrants an experiment.
Given that there are other forums on the Internet with similar policies (explicitly defined, or otherwise), perhaps you might wish to volunteer for a reconnaissance mission to find out more about the pros and cons of such modes of operation?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

binocular
Posts: 4124
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Clarify criteria for topics and membership

Post by binocular » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Given that there are other forums on the Internet with similar policies (explicitly defined, or otherwise), perhaps you might wish to volunteer for a reconnaissance mission to find out more about the pros and cons of such modes of operation?
If the Dhamma is a form of moral absolutism, then an authoritarian social structure seems to be the only adequate one.

(The authoritarianism can be explicit, or implied.)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests