Steve Matheson at Quintessence of Dust notes regarding Dembski’s Uncommon Descent blog:
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants. . . .
C’mon Steve! Don’t hold back! Tell us how you really feel!
While I lead with the controversial (and I agree with him about UcD), Matheson makes some excellent points in this post, all of which may be controversial. Besides my own distinction between behavior that I regard as rude and inappropriate (that’s what I think of what both PZ Myers and one poor college student at the University of Central Florida did), and what should be illegal or worth firing someone for, there is the distinction between what one can and should say about one’s own group, and what one can and should say about others.
Earlier, Matheson notes:
The sickest crap at UD isn’t the usual dishonesty and shoddy pseudoscholarship. It’s the religious propaganda, a toxic mix of normal everyday bullshit (about “Darwinism”) and the pearls of our lives as Christians: scripture, our confessions, even the name of Jesus, the chief cornerstone. What’s worse, I ask: Myers’ desecration of a piece of matter that he reckons a mere cracker, or Bill Dembski’s malicious use of Christ as a lame polemical device? I’m sure you already know where I stand.
Just so. My stand is the same, though the language is a bit intense for me, I think. When Christians behave inappropriately in a public way, other Christians may have the duty to call them on it. I’m not calling for every Christian to speak up in every case, but in a case like this, public Christians, such as bloggers, need to comment on other public Christians who are bringing disrepute on Christianity.
Anyone may be wrong. I have occasionally had someone stop by here and question my vocabulary or the way I expressed something. Others have questioned my beliefs. That is a good thing. When that happens I need to do a recheck on what I’m doing and correct such actions.
Which is my own additional point about UcD. My friend Peter Kirk is very intense about blogs that don’t allow comments, and I mostly agree with him, though I continue to read a number of blogs that do not allow comments. What I find reprehensible is a blog that appears to allow comments, but then weeds the threads in order to make themselves look better. That is the case at UcD when comments are suppressed, not because they are obscene, libelous, or spam, but rather because they annoy the writers there.
At least one knows when a blog closes off comments. Nobody can comment, and you know that the blog is not totally open to discussion and correction. When a blog is censored other than according to precise standards, that presents a lie to the world. It says that discussion is welcome, while at the same time presenting a skewed view of the resulting discussion.
PS: My own policy on comments is that I will remove posts with excessive language, i.e. likely to get this blog in trouble as family friendly, or when such comments are actually libelous assuming I can identify them as such, or when they are clearly spam. I have removed one comment under the first point in the history of the blog that I recall, none under the second, and of course thousands under the third. If your comment either doesn’t appear, or disappears under other circumstances, you are welcome to call me on it here publicly in a comment, and I will check it out.