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Thread: Forum Rules and FAQ

  1. #1
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Forum Rules and FAQ

    Mission Statement
    Pagan Forum is a multi-faith discussion board. We welcome members of all faiths and paths to share their experiences and broaden their knowledge of many different types of religious traditions. We seek to provide a comfortable environment where our members can feel safe and may openly share any information without fear of religious intolerance. Proselytizing and/or preaching is not allowed because it is abusive and bigoted in a multi-faith environment and it promotes religious exclusivism. Share your experiences as *your* experience, not as a universal truth.

    I. Rules
    By registering at Pagan Forum you agree to the following code of conduct when interacting with the community.


    1. Follow the rules which Pagan Forum has set forth.
    2. Be courteous to your fellow members.
    3. Respect others as you would like to be respected.
    4. Do not spam the forum with advertisement or nonconstructive material.
    5. Do not troll, bait, instigate fights, flame, attack or otherwise violate forum rules.
    6. Do not proselytize or preach--regardless of what you do IRL, you are not clergy here or a religious authority. Proselytizing is considered a form of spam at best, and religious bullying otherwise.
    7. Do not verbally assault or bully someone on the basis of race, religion, gender, sex, sexual identity, ethnicity, etc.
    8. Do not plagiarize. For more information, read the Posting Etiquette below.
    9. If you disagree with anything, do so in a respectful manner. Do not spread drama over disputes or personal discord over multiple threads.
    10. Do not argue with a Moderation action
    11. Do not create multiple user accounts.



    II. Conduct

    Pagan Forum is a privately owned, operated, and funded (partially via donations) forum, it is not a free speech zone, and it is not a democracy. We've been doing this for over a decade, and we've come to a format that works for this community, so we enforce it. The simple fact of this forum is that we have a global membership with a lot of disparate belief systems. We are a unique place where a diverse group of people comes together to talk about their beliefs and ideas. As such, we have community standards for behavior that we expect all members to follow when posting. Failure to do so may result in moderator action, depending on the severity, circumstance, and/or repetition of the behavior.

    The following are guidelines we expect our members to follow while participating in discussions on our forum.

    Language


    • Spoken/Typed: Pagan Forum is primarily an English speaking forum and therefore requires English translation for any content posted in another language. We do not discourage multi-lingual discussion, but bear in mind that the site is hosted and maintained by US owners and for moderation purposes require translation to any non-English text. If you do not wish to provide translation to text in a foreign language, please get clearance from a staff member prior to posting it, or use Private Messages to individual members.



    Profanity


    • We would like to keep the forum as free as possible of unnecessary profanity. There are certain sections that we give more leeway. For instance, the Rants section. However, the majority of the public forums should be considered at a PG-13 rating. The Pagan Forum Staff reserves the right to edit language that we deem excessive or unnecessarily out of context.



    Posting Etiquette


    • When creating a new topic, please ensure that you are submitting it to the proper category (IE., Knitting discussions go into the Hobbies section, Spell work discussion would go into Ceremonies and Practices). Keep the title neat and not too vague or too long. Let your audience know what the topic will be discussing. If your discussion includes a link, please post a quick description of what the link contains and why you are posting it. Do not simply post a link as the context for your discussion--include a relevant invitation on the aspect you want to discuss, etc.
    • Do not plagiarize. If you are quoting an article or post from the Internet, provide a link to that article. If it is a long article, you may quote 20% or the highlights of said article. Do not quote the entire length of the article unless it is relatively short. If you are quoting someone else's work, please make sure you have their permission to do so. If you are quoting something from the Internet, provide a link back as part of proper attribution to the author. If you are not quoting something from the Internet, provide as much information as possible (author name and work referenced, date, etc). Plagiarism may be automatic grounds for banning.
    • When replying to someone or replying to an idea they have presented, it is considered courteous to include a quote of the text you wish to address. Please place the quoted text first followed by your reply. You may include several quotes if you wish to break it down or quote multiple members.
    • There is a 5-minute delay which is a courtesy-editing time-frame if you need to make changes to your posts. However, if you exceed this time, frame, you will be locked out and must contact a moderator to make any further changes to your submission(s). Please make this request via PM and not as a separate post within that topic.
    • Please refrain from making double posts if at all possible. Double posts are two or more consecutive submissions by the same member. We understand that sometimes, it is unavoidable and we usually do give quite a bit of leeway. However, constant double posting is considered spamming and may result in Moderator or even Administrative actions. Please see one bullet above if you need to make amendments to your posts or seek to combine multiple posts.
    • Do not spread drama, which originated in one topic, into another topic or multiple topics. It is extremely disruptive to the forum and not everyone needs to be involved in a dispute



    Disagreements

    Due to our diversity, we will not always see eye-to-eye in our discussions with one another. Polite disagreement and productive debate is how we learn and grow together, we encourage both of these (as well as constructive criticism). But when disagreement and debate isn't handled with respect and compassion, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, panties in a wad, toes stepped on, etc--whether it be fairly or unfairly. We, the staff, ask you, the members to do your best to encourage the former (polite disagreement and productive debate) and mitigate the latter.


    • Disagreements are bound to happen in a large community. You may voice disagreement(s) (debate, constructive criticism, etc) within a topic as long as it is done in a respectful manner.
    • Debate IDEAS not PEOPLE.
    • Refrain from personal attacks. BUT don't assume disagreement with a position=attack.
    • If you have a personal disagreement with one or more members, please contact said member or a Staff member by one of the following ways: Personal Messages, E-mail, or “Report to Moderator” function.
    • Do not couch personal opinion as fact. You will be called out by community members (this is your only warning). If you make a claim that is extraordinary (ie. unlikely to be commonly accepted or commonly known by our community) either make sure that it is expressed as your opinion or backed up with a link or citation so that members can find more information.
    • We strive to provide a community to our members in which censorship is not heavily used, however, disagreements often escalate to personal insults, resulting in a topic getting locked and/or edited for content. Please do your part in preventing such action from being necessary.



    Privacy

    • Never share your log-in, password, email, real name or any personal information. Never post private logs, emails, and or private information that belongs to another person.
    • Do not use this forum to "out" anyone for their religion, gender, sexual identity, etc.
    • Do not use information gained from this forum to stalk or harass our members (or persons in their social circle), not only will we ban you, we will also report you to other social media sites and, if necessary, to the authorities.



    Spamming

    • Spamming is not allowed under any circumstances. If you wish to advertise your website, blog, store or services, please contact an Admin prior to ensure the validity this site/service is to our community. Failure to comply will result in links and posts being removed. Depending on the type of advertisement posted, a warning may be issued or in extreme circumstances a permanent ban may be initiated. Longstanding and established members may provide links to personal websites they wish to share.



    Behaviour

    • Rude and inappropriate behavior will be moderated closely. Unacceptable behavior includes – but is not limited to – Trolling, baiting, instigating fights, flaming, discrimination, stalking, harassment, racism, sexism/gender-ism, etc. General asshattery that is disruptive to the function and flow of the forum and to the integrity of the community is not allowed--if you are familiar with the US military, this is a bit like the General Article in the UCMJ.
    • Pagan Forum does not allow any illegal activity within its community. If it’s unlawful/illegal, do not bring it to the site. The Pagan Forum Staff reserves the right to modify or remove any posts that violate these rules.
    • We expect members to put their personal biases aside as much as possible to facilitate constructive conversation. We do not expect everyone to get along and sing kumbaya, but we do expect basic civility. Sometimes this means setting aside your ego of needing to be "right". Try to refrain from being the type of person that needs to get the last word. Try to see opinions from the perspectives of others.
    • We expect members to practice some level of self-censorship and self-restraint. This may indlude such actions as looking things up before posting questionable information, posting links and references for controversial statements and ideas, and keeping insults about other persons or groups of persons to yourself.
    • You are free to leave at any time. A community is a dynamic organism on its own, it develops its own culture and personality. While we try to be as welcoming and helpful as possible at the end of the day, the onus is upon you, the member, to find where you fit here. Sometimes people find that they don't fit, and that is okay. We can close your account if you like, but we don't delete it.


    III. Moderation Policy

    Moderators are long time and respected members that have done us the honor of VOLUNTEERING their time and energy to the smooth running of this forum. As such, they comment and post as members first, and as moderators when they need to. When a moderators (signified by a name in red--admin, green--general moderator, or turquoise--local moderator) makes a comment regarding behavior, etiquette, rules, etc, it is best to take heed. When they make that same comment in red, green, or turquoise (depending on their specific role) it is no longer merely a recommended action, but a required one. Disregard for an official moderator notice will be treated with the same severity of a rules infraction, regardless of which staff member it comes from.

    Failing to abide by the above-mentioned rules and guidelines, one or more of the following actions may be taken against your account. Our actions will vary depending on the severity of the transgression. Rule infractions are generally addressed more swiftly and treated more harshly, though repeated and egregious disregard for the guidelines will eventually cause moderator action as well. It may include any one or more of the following:

    • Editing your post.
    • Removing images/links/videos that are in violation.
    • Removing a post/thread.
    • Banning a user from a thread.
    • Closing a thread.


    • Issuing a general warning for over-all conduct in the thread.
    • Issuing a specific warning for behavior to specific users.
    • Receive a warning or infraction for continued behavior and note abuse on the account.
    • Revoking specific privileges related to the individual's offenses
    • Suspending the user from the forums for a period of time for failure to adhere to previous warnings.
    • Banning the account for continued behavior abuse.
    • Individuals who violate the rules of the forums may not receive any warning before an action is taken.




    Pagan Forum reserve the right to change or amend these rules at any time, without notice. We strive to provide our community with an open and welcoming forum for as many people as possible and will do what is necessary to ensure that we meet this goal.
    Last edited by MaskedOne; 10 Jul 2016 at 19:47.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #2
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    So...we had to redo this, and the FAQ thread...the others got eaten somehow. I decided, this time around, to combine them... It will likely take me a while, but I'll be updating the FAQs over the next week or so.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #3
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    This is relatively short but it comes up occasionally.

    PM Abuse and how to handle it:

    1) All rules on interpersonal conduct and spamming apply in full force to all sections of this forum. You are not licensed to spam or hurl abuse via forum posts, chat or the private message system. Ignoring this point will earn sanction from site staff.

    2) Moderator (Admins can but I'm looking to make life easier for green names) staff cannot independently access PM logs to investigate or verify abuse of the system. If you receive an abusive PM, there is a report button at the bottom of the PM that looks like a little triangle. Use it. Officially reporting a pm delivers a copy straight to the mod queue for any staff member on site. This means that more staff have access and since it can't be modified like a quote can, it provides a solid paper trail to point to when staff choose to issue infractions or bans.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  4. #4
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.

    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    The following should be old news for most members but I want to clarify several points now when the forum is quiet.

    Private Messages:

    PaganForum grants members access to a private message system to allow communication between two or more members without involving the rest of the forum. While such communication is not regularly monitored, it should not be assumed that it is absolutely secure. Members can report your private messages to staff if they consider them abusive and Administrative staff reserve the right to investigate PM logs at our discretion should we suspect misconduct. If you desire greater privacy in communications with a member then you are advised to set up an alternate channel of communication independent of the forum.

    Chat and Privacy:

    Chat discussions should not be assumed private. Period. Nothing prevents a member from taking a screen cap of a chat discussion and sharing. Members can see 10 messages prior to their log in and you don't know when they are entering. Finally, GMs and above have access to chat logs to be used at their discretion.

    Doxing and other Silliness:

    Staff have access to logs so that we can investigate problems that might affect the site or it's membership. Not to spread personal info around the web. If you believe a member of the staff has divulged information accessed through their position as a staff member to anyone outside the staff forums. Notify one or more of the admins immediately. There are few legitimate reasons to spread such data outside the staff forums. Administrative staff will investigate any misuse of data available to the staff at our earliest convenience.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  5. #5
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    *a little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika*

    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    FAQ's Part 1


    1) I just registered but I haven't gotten an activation email, whats up with that?

    Yeah, sorry about that. As of now, there's something up with the automatically sent registration email and they aren't being sent. Don't worry about it, just get started posting, and welcome to PF!

    2) Why can't I post a link/picture/etc?

    You probably don't have enough posts. Keep posting, and after 15 posts that are non-intro, non-game posts, you will be able to add links and things. Its part of our anti-spam tactics.


    2b) But I really want to post a link/picture/etc and I'm not a spammer!!!!

    If this is the case, PM a mod with the link and we will edit it in for you. Or tell people where they can find the info (site name, etc) and they can look it up themselves.


    3) Can I choose a gender for my profile that isn't male or female?

    Yes. There are several options that one can choose from. If you don't see the choice that closest represents you, please contact an Admin with your inquiry.


    4) Why can't I use fun colored text?

    Because we are mean. Not really. The forum has a number of styles you can choose to use. Many of these have colored backgrounds. If you use colored texts, it makes reading difficult. Since the point of an internet forum is reading and responding, making it harder for people to read means people aren't going to read what you write. Additionally, staff uses colored text to show that they are speaking as a staff memeber in a staff role imparting official staff information or instructions. Admins use red, global moderators use green, and local moderators use turquoise. This makes staff messages harder to miss.

    If you copy pasta, you need to revert your message to the default. There are two steps you need to take to do this--1)in the left upper corner of the text box there is an a/A and one next to it with and a/A and a red X; highlighting the text in question and clicking on the a/A with the red X will remove most formatting and 2) highlighting the text in question and going to the big A with the little downward arrow lets you pick the color of your text; select automatic.

    default text.jpg



    5) What do you mean by "family friendly forum"? AKA What do you mean by PG-13? AKA Why can't I use naughty words?

    Of all the rules we have, this is the one that gets broken the most... Generally, its not intentional, and as most of use are adults here, we tend to overlook the occasional four-letter bomb (particularly in the rant section) However. We do ask that members (and staff) refrain from making cursing a habit in general on the main boards, and from using the more florid curse words all together. We reserve the right to modify and censor cursing or other explicit language or imagery in general, when we feel it is gradituous. If you want to spew naughtiness, we have an adult section for the over 18.

    The staff has strong expectations that the main boards remain appropriate for people to view in the workplace, at home around children, or even for their kids to use (13 is the minimum age for membership). As such, we expect that people keep it in line with language, imagery, and topics that are less graphic than you'd see in a PG-13 family film.


    6) What is this "adult section"? Also... What is the teen section? And... How do I get there?

    The forum has several closed sections. The Adult and Teen sections are for the over-18 and under-21, respectively. If you are in-between (18-21) you have to choose one, you can't be in both. The Teen section is rather inactive due to not having many teens that feel uncomfortable posting in the main boards...but we retain the board as a place where teens can talk to teens without grow-ups being a downer. The Adult section is the more risque part of the board (not really, but we do allow cursing and NSFW links).


    7) I am a student/researcher/etc and I want to do a survey/questionairre/etc for a paper/study/etc. Is this allowed?

    Maybe. First you need to ask the staff for permission. PM Juni, MaskedOne, or myself (thalassa) with your request. Tell us who you are (IRL), what institution this if for (if official research) or what project it is for (for a school project, etc), and what you are specifically researching. Send us the list of questions you plan to ask as part of your research and any other pertinent information about your study. We will discuss whether or not we feel that your research is pertinent to our mission and membership. If so, we will let you know that you can post a thread (and where to post it) for your research, and we will add in any necessary links (since you need a minimum post count to add links).

    8) I am an author/artist/store owner/etc and I want to tell you all about my services/wares. Is this allowed?

    Maybe. First, you need to be an established member. We allow established members to post their services and wares in our "Plugs" section. We have several artists and authors here that are established members that we quite like, so we love to see what they have in the works so that we can support their endevors and get something cool from someone that we know and adore. If you aren't an established member, we don't know and adore you yet and we don't want your spam.


    9) What if I feel insulted/offended by a member?

    Look, most of us are grown-ups...we should be able to resolve conflict easily and simply. If you feel insulted by something someone else said, first make sure you didn't misunderstand them. Context is often lost in the written language. Also, we have many members for whom English is a second language. And we are an international forum. Sometimes what you think someone means by what you've read isn't what they've meant to say. Ask them to clarify their words. If you still feel insulted, politely let them know that you take personal offense to what they've said, and explain why. If there is still a problem, inform the staff and we can assist you in resolving the issue.












    Last edited by MaskedOne; 10 Jul 2016 at 19:50.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #6
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    *a little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika*

    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    We have the following posted elsewhere on the forum, but I'm going to add them here just as an FYI/PSA...

    Netiquette for Inter/Intrafaith Discussions

    Responsibilities of the Writer:

    1) Know your audience. As a writer, you should know who your audience is–its just sort of common sense that one needs to know who they are writing to, and what interests and perspectives readers might have, in order to appropriately address topics. But part of knowing your targeted or expected audience is also knowing that some of them might just be curious drop-ins… If your goal is to foster thought and discussion solely within one’s community, that’s fine (though a consideration of how they could be taken by others might be a good idea)…but if your goal is to spark discussions across communities (either sub-groups within the same faith group, or between faith groups), then perhaps its a good idea to see what your words feel like from an outside perspective and model them appropriately.

    2) Strive for accuracy and honesty. Try to emphasize when something is a personal opinion (albeit a hopefully educated one) as opposed to a fact-based statement. Particularly when discussing contentious topics (in which case, try to acknowledge if not address different opinions) or in environments where you could be construed as a subject matter expert or a representative of a particular view. If you know you are biased on a particular topic, ante up and admit it.

    3) Write with respect. The bottom line here is to write with respect for one’s subject matter and one’s audience. Sometimes that can be a quite difficult balance to achieve. There are a number of ways to do this: cite sources, admit bias, use inclusive language, make ‘I’ statements, and overall…be kind–or at least as kind as possible if and when criticism is necessary.

    4) Make it readable. I admit, I’m totally guilty of tl;dr at times…and UAWA (using abbreviations with abandon–and yes, I totally made that one up as a joke), incredibly bad humor, and overuse of ellipses and parentheses. Look, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be able to be read and understood without too much difficulty. If most people struggle to read it, there isn’t much of a point to have written it! Things like format (hello, paragraphs!), punctuation and spelling, syntax and grammar matter, as does clarity and specificity in language (terminology matters!). And for the love of all that you consider holy, use paragraphs–I won’t even bother to try to decipher a total wall of text, it hurts my eye balls and my brain.


    Responsibilities of the Reader:

    1) Know the audience of the writer. Lets be honest here, writers write with a specific audience in mind. So be mindful of whose internet home you are walking into. Don’t jump down someone’s throat for disagreeing with you when you wandered into their site (this doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with them). Religious beliefs are opinions, and a person that wanders into a community with different opinions from theirs should expect to disagree with them. Don’t automatically take disagreement, even at a fundamental level of how your own beliefs are viewed, as a personal insult.

    2) Read with an open mind and an open heart. Try to see things from the writer’s perspective and experience. You don’t have to agree with them, but try to see where they are coming from and why that background could lead them to see things as they do. Don’t take a general opinion as a personal attack, even if that is how they feel…often people have opinions that they have absolutely no real world experience with (and usually those opinions are the most offensive ones!). A decent person can still have a shitty opinion, so try to refrain from passing judgement on a person, instead of their ideas and reasoning.

    3) Give some “benefit of the doubt” to the writer. Writing well can be hard and writing well on hard topics can be even harder. Sometimes people say things in a way that is not immediately clear what they mean, or they give insult where none is intended because the words they use are not understood in the same way they were meant to be delivered. In light of an entire post, try not to take single comments out of context, unless they are an illustration of overall disagreement. Unlike a face to face discussion, where a person has instant feedback and can see that a conversation is starting to go off track and clarify points or ask questions, internet discussions are dependent on when someone can get back to it (and a whole lot can go wrong in that time). On the other hand, the key word here is some–some comments need to be challenged, whether it be for their sheer offensiveness, or because the author is someone that should know better (and if they don’t they need to be told), etc.


    Responsibilities of the Responder/Commenter:

    1) If you didn’t read it all, don’t comment/respond…9 times out of 10 I’m willing to bet it will leave you breaking my next “rule”.

    2) Don’t be an ass. A responder/commenter is both a reader and a writer and is responsible for behaving as both, the only additional duty you really have is to not be a jerk when you respond. Ask yourself questions like “Will this contribute to the conversation?”, “Am I voicing a legitimate concern or critique that shows alternative points of view and furthers the discussion?”, “Do my comments get the author and other readers additional insight into the situation?” and “Would I say this to my mother/spouse/child/best friend?”. If the answer to questions like those is “No”, then perhaps a rewording or rethinking of the comment is in order.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  7. #7
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.

    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    This was in ye olde FAQ and I'm pre-emptively reviving it.

    YOU DO NOT NEED THE LAST WORD

    Everyone please remember the bold text at all times. At a certain point, a topic is dead and all you are doing is throwing snark at each other. Learn to recognize this point and walk away when it comes. The result of sniping at each other for too long past this point is that the staff will have the last word when we get tired of monitoring and axe-murder the thread.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  8. #8
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant compared to the power of the Force.

    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    Alright. I'm locking this due to the fact that we're subjecting everyone to a forced reminder of the rules and I don't want to risk side effects if new posts are added while the Force Read is in play.

    Questions can go in

    http://www.paganforum.com/showthread...c-Post-em-here

    So come one, come all. This thread involves the general rules that your behavior is judged by and since you don't get the option of not reading them...

    You also don't get excuses for breaking them.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Forum Rules and FAQ

    FAQ Part 2--

    10. When should I start a thread (or not)?

    Start a thread when you have something to discuss or that you want other people's opinions on when there isn't already a similar topic. There are a number of topics that we have discussed already, if your idea/opinion/inquiry/comment can be fitted into that thread, do so. If a thread on a topic that you are interested in is locked because it is old (rather than being locked for being a problem), you can ask a moderator to unlock it.

    DO NOT SPAM THE FORUM WITH IRRELEVENT, UNNECESSARY OR REPETATIVE THREADS!!!* We actually have threads for that sort of thing:

    *A thread for unpopular opinions
    *A thread for random thoughts
    *A thread for ranting
    *A thread for what you had for dinner
    *A thread for what you are watching
    *A thread for what you are listening to
    *A thread for things you think are funny
    *A thread for being thankful and another thread for being thankful
    *A thread to show everyone what you are doing and what you look like right now
    *A prayer request thread
    *A thread for things you are happy about
    *A thread for something you want to confess
    *A thread for being sorry about something
    *A thread for sharing your workout

    ...and much more

    If a comment or side discussion gets big enough or starts to explore something in-depth, you can always ask a moderator to split it off into its own thread.



    *If the general membership and staff feel like someone is being particularly spammy (generally determined by how annoyed we are with having to merge a new thread into an existing one over and over and over and over), you will get a warning, then you will start getting infractions, then you will lose the ability to start new threads).


    10a. Where should I put the thread I want to start?

    Put it in the section that fits the topic the best. We have a catch-all section entitled General Discussion for those topics that don't fit the other sections, but we have a lot of sections, so make sure that your subject matter wouldn't fit in one of them FIRST. GENERAL DISCUSSION SHOULD BE THE LAST PLACE YOU THINK ABOUT PLACING A THREAD!!! If you think a thread might fit in two sections, that's fine, use the one you think it is most applicable to.



    10b. What should I call the thread?

    Give your thread a title that is succinct, that lets the user know what the OP wants to discuss, and that CONTAINS NO PROFANITY. If a subject is particularly controversial, a debate, etc, please add a tag to it to give the reader warning. Some people may be using the forum from work, may not be in the mood to be PO'd, may not want to discuss (sometimes due to personal trauma) the topic, or may not have the time to devote to reading, processing, and responding. Either way, HAVE THE COURTESY to let others make that decision for themselves by giving them a clear picture of what the thread is about.



    11. When/why do threads get closed?

    Threads get closed for a couple of reasons--

    1) Time--old threads get closed when they are archived or after there hasn't been a response in a significant time period.
    2) Off-topic--the thread has been taken so far off-topic that no one is even addressing or attempting to connect their posts to the OP. Some divergence from the OP, side discussions, tension relieving humor, etc is natural...but if it goes on for more that 2-3 posts without someone bothering to get back to the point, it becomes a target for the mods to consider closing, whether or not they think the thread is worth trying to get back on track. If a side conversation is worth becoming its own thread, just ask a mod to split the thread! If its not, then get back on topic...because when the staff sees too much off-topic stuff to try and clean up (especially when they tend to get obnoxious), its easier just to close them all.
    3) Banned topic--there are some topics or posts (vegan/vegetarian vs meat eating, vaccination debates, etc) that are killed on sight because they descend into a firey fire-pit of otherwise lovely people becoming foaming mouthed crazies. We are tired of moderating those, so we lock them on sight. Now, if you want to rant about your neighbor not vaccinating her kids and how your kids have the measles or ask for vegan recipes for crockpots, go for it. But, the second it comes uncivil it dies.
    4) Gross Incivility--When people stop playing even modicum of nice, the thread dies.


    11a. What if I want a closed/locked thread re-opened?


    If its closed due to time, absolutely. If its been closed because its off-topic, maybe--it depends on how off topic it was and how much work a mod has to do to clean it up and make it presentable; just ask. If its a banned topic or gross uncivility, heck no.


    11b. Can I just start a new thread?

    If its closed due to time, absolutely. If its been closed because its off-topic, usually yes. If you aren't sure (maybe it was closed due to being off-topic AND gross incivility), ask a mod. If it is a banned topic or gross incivility, probably not...if you thing that you have an absolutely novel discussion on the matter that won't descend into a firey fire-pit of otherwise lovely people becoming foaming mouthed crazies, ask a mod--the answer will probably be no unless its really incredible.




    12. What is someone REALLY annoys me and I don't like them?


    The forum has an ignore feature. Not just a "don't pay attention to the person" sort of ignore feature, but an actual ignore feature. You can't ignore staff, but you can ignore anyone else. If you click on their user name it will take you to their profile. Just scroll down to the place on the left side bar where it says "Add to Ignore List" (or some such verbiage)... Voila! End of annoying person for you. There are some caveats to that, which MO can tell you more about.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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