Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An Argument for Argument-Free Posts

I'm sure many of you will know what I'm talking about when I say this. It happened to me again yesterday. It usually happens kind of like this. A fellow blogger is wondering about something, and asks for people's thoughts on the matter. You decide to offer your two cents, but you do so with trepidation, because you know if you're honest about the matter, and choose to consider it from varying different perspectives, one or many other commentors is going to jump all over you for it.

In this most recent case, I put those fears aside and tried to look at it like I was just speaking to the person who asked the question and not to all those people eager to tell me how wrong I am. But when it did happen, I then thought that maybe I just should have sent an e-mail. But, after thinking that, I kind of resented that idea. Why should I have to worry that I'm going to be attacked for offering to somebody my thoughts on something!

I may still be an amateur, but after 38 years of life as a Catholic, I think I know a little something about the ins and outs of living the Catholic life. It's just not as simple as people seem to want to make it out to be a lot of the time. The choices to be made, the things to consider in this life involve far more than just asking: what page is that on in the Catechism? (though often that's not a bad place to start)

One of the people that's been most courageous on this score, I think, is Penni at Martha, Martha. She's been known to ask the questions that a lot of us are afraid to ask, for the very reasons I've articulated above. But she's been burnt badly a couple of times for doing so.

Maybe from time to time, and I think Amy Welborn has done something like this a few times, we have to designate a post as "argument-free." If someone asks for our thoughts, maybe he or she can ask just for our thoughts on his or her question, and not for our criticisms of someone else's thoughts?

So, hey, let's try it. Let's have your honest responses--put charitably, please--to what I've written, and let's agree not to comment on others' responses. What are your thoughts?

Thanks to Cynthia at Mormon2Catholic for suggesting this cartoon as an appropriate accompaniment to this post.


Blogger Bill said...

You could just activate the moderate comments feature, where you get to approve or edit comments before they appear.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

You should check out Toothpaste For Dinner today. It addresses the issue you mentioned and might make you laugh.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I'm always appalled when comboxes degenerate into mudfights, and I'm even more appalled when among the mudfighters are people with whom I agree.




9:47 AM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

courageous, mark? moi? i should think not!

i muse a lot. i wonder things, i write about them. i am not nearly as traditional in my Catholicism as some of my brethren nor as liberal as others, actually. however, there are topics that i feel need to be discussed in an open forum and the one thing about being a blog host(ess) is you can always pull a thread.

i have only had to pull one. it degenerated into such mudslinging it was beyond ugly. what ensued in my email inbox was downright nasty and seriously disturbing. the person responsible for most of the evil has been banned from commenting, several i.p. addresses.

that is always a thought. everyone gets one good chance with me -- if it goes ad hominem, they get banned and that is that. i have only "unbanned" one person because of ensuing discussion via email.

thin lines are tough to negotiate at times and there are some emotional issues that garner very strong feelings. you just have to be careful.

(if you keep mentioning me in the same threads with amy welborn, i am going to have my membership revoked, you realize that don't you?)

10:16 AM  

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