With increased traffic on davidould.net I’ve decided to set out a clear statement of comment rules so everyone is clear on where we stand. If you’re unable to meet these guidelines then I’m afraid that davidould.net just might not be the place for you. That’s your choice that you’re free to make and I won’t think less of you for it (in fact I will probably not know that you’ve even made that choice). If a comment you make breaches these rules it may not be published and persistent breaches will see you placed in moderation or just blacklisted.

I want this site to be a place where we can discuss issues that are important to me (because, let’s face it, this is my own site) and which are, I believe, important to Christians in Australia and beyond and not least Christians in the Anglican Church of Australia. I value actual intelligent discussion of the issues before us, not the slinging of muddy soundbites that don’t actually seek to take their opponent seriously and engage with what they’re actually saying. One of the great losses in our current culture is that many arguments remain unheard not simply because they are not properly listened to but because they’re actually shouted down.

So in that spirit, and wishing to promote good healthy and productive conversation:

  1. No anonymous comments. If you have something to say then stand by it. I will reject anonymous comments and those with unverifiable identifiers such as bogus or temporary email addresses. It’s my experience here that the vast majority of abusive comments are made anonymously. If I cannot clearly identify you then I’m sorry, your comment will not be published. I understand there are some circumstances where anonymous comments are necessary, in which case please leave an identifying email address. Your address will not be published.
  2. No name calling, no matter what side of the table you sit on. If you can’t express yourself without calling someone something rude then you need to go and play somewhere else. If you’re a Christian and you’re name-calling then shame on you especially.
  3. No lobbing out the empty and offensive insults in the various categories that we talk about. If you call me or others:
    1. bigot, homophobic, hater etc when we’re discussing sexual ethics then all you’re really demonstrating is that you have no desire to understand me. In which case I see no point in a dialogue or, more accurately, in publishing your shouty monologue. Go set up your own blog and preach to the choir there.
    2. a “worshipper of a sky-fairy” or similar (and sadly all too typical) “new atheist” label. Again, for clarity I do not worship any fairy, in the sky or otherwise. I do not worship a unicorn either. Or even believe in them. If you treat me like I do then only one of us is not listening to the other.
  4. No being a “Leviticus troll” by which I mean running the same old tired “shellfish in a coat of two or more fibres sold into slavery” type of arguments that sound so great when they’re in a script by Aaron Sorkin and there’s no-one around to cogently reply but actually have substantial and well-reasoned responses to them. In fact, just so we’re absolutely clear, I define as a “Leviticus troll” anyone commenting on this site in this way who has not gone to Tim Keller’s excellent article on the subject of consistency between the Old and New Testament  and has made an effort to understand the argument there or any of the innumerable other places it has been made. If you’re having trouble with that then the clue to discerning Keller’s argument is the way that he deliberately uses phrases like “But the reason is made clear” and ” the main premise of the Bible” and, of course, his concluding paragraph. If you simply discount them (which is not the same, of course, as not agreeing with them) then I am led to conclude you actually don’t want a discussion at all, let alone want to understand me and those like me. In which case why are you here?

I trust all of that makes sense. I want good, even great conversation. I embrace a robust exchange of views particularly with those I am in fierce disagreement with. So tell me and others that I’m wrong; argue away and convince me or other readers. But do so in a manner that respects your discussion partner and we’ll all get along just fine.

please note: While I will make every effort to appropriately moderate comments as I think necessary, by commenting you are accepting responsibility for your own writing and any consequences that flow to you from what you have written, legal or otherwise.

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