Welcoming the dissenting voice

In my wanderings around various blogs, it has struck me how varied people can be in welcoming, defending, and rejecting comments from people who hold different views on the subjects being posted. Me, I tend to hang about LDS blogs, more specifically feminist or womens issues blogs. The alternatives in LDS blogs tend to be those that spend a lot of time doing deep analysis; where points are made with many obscure book references and arguments that are themselves philosophy student dissertations. I can (and occasionally do) read those kinds of blogs, but dont feel confident enough in my own abilities to articulate my point of view to participate in the discussions. That’s probably why I have this blog, even if it is rarely read.

In any case, back to the subject.

A blog, like a congregation, a town, or any other grouping of people, is filled with people of vast differences in knowledge and opinions. As such, you can get quite a range of comments for and against any part of your posting, especially as the subject you’ve written becomes more controversial. Some lay in wait to demean and debunk any opinion supportive of the LDS Church, some look for points to affirm or deny on their own merit, some read to try and learn more about a subject, and some are on the defensive for anything that might be construed as attacking their choices or beliefs. For moderators, it can be difficult to define a line of what is acceptable and what is not.

My personal preference for comments are those that speak of a persons own experience and opinions, without disparaging or demeaning the experiences and opinions of others. This does not mean that opinions or doctrines cannot be defended, but that it should be done in simplicity, stating belief and leaving it at that. Spending time going back and forth with someone who will not listen is useless. Using insults (no matter how thinly veiled or claiming to only be insulting the rationale of a subject) promotes less dialogue, not more. You’re welcome to take umberage at what is said, but to demean and demand that the person no longer comment is counterproductive. As you restrict the opinions and knowledge of others around you, your own opportunites to learn diminish.

So share, please. For or against, part or all, it matters not. The idea is to learn and grow together, no matter what we bring, no matter what we know.

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