Since I’m not a presidential candidate, I’ll use this topic to write this out. I’d like to introduce an idea that may finally put this meta-debate about debate to rest.
This idea is a fairly simple one: there are two types of conflict. Intellectual conflict - that is conflict over beliefs, and which beliefs are correct, and personal conflict, which is conflict between lifestyles, emotions, and how well the person’s actions line up with their beliefs.
Real life tends to bear this out. Let us consider a prominent evolutionist, Richard Dawkins. If I choose to debate Dawkins over his atheism and my Christianity, that is an intellectual conflict. I may not necessarily be angry with Mr. Dawkins for all of that - Mr. Dawkins can choose to go to hell if he wants to do so. That is not my particular concern. However, if Mr. Dawkins is my next-door neighbor and is playing loud music at all hours of the day and night (possibly to deal with his existential black hole), we have a problem. Mr. Dawkins is causing me misery. This is a personal conflict. Right?
If I may introduce another idea, I posit that these two types of conflicts require two different types of resolutions. The first type -intellectual conflict- actually would benefit from being public and in front of everyone. Mr. Dawkins lies, since they are lies and he is spreading them around, would benefit from a counter that is just as public so no one believes his wrong beliefs that he is misguidedly spewing. In addition, having the debate against Dawkins be public allows for more contributors. For an intellectual problem, the more brainpower that can be thrown against the problem, the higher the chance of coming to a resolution, or at least disproving Mr. Dawkins.
However, such a public forum would not do for Mr. Dawkins’ music. Mr. Dawkins is an old man, and subjecting him to public humiliation on that score would be a horrendous method of conflict resolution, because he probably didn’t know his music was that loud. It would be far better to simply confront him privately over the matter and respectfully suggest he obtain some headphones.
Right now, browsing the forum, I see two different premises operating:
- All conflict on online forums is intellectual, it is a matter of beliefs, and it can be resolved publicly.
- All conflict on online forums is personal, and should not be resolved publicly and instead taken to private message.
Neither of these premises really make any sense. In any human venue, personal and intellectual conflicts shall both occur. So let’s unpack this a bit.
1: I believe that all conflict is a matter of beliefs and intellect, and this is the conflict I am most comfortable with dealing with and resolving. I don’t want to resolve personal conflict and am uncomfortable with doing that, therefore, I will drag all of my personal conflicts out into the open and try to make them intellectual conflicts over beliefs so I don’t have to deal with the emotionally intense process of resolving personal conflict privately.
Let us have a moment of silence where we all blast Miss_S for following this paragraph to her own detriment.
2: I believe that all conflict is personal, and this is the conflict that I am most comfortable dealing with and resolving. I don’t want to resolve intellectual conflict because that is a lot of work - a lot of research and admitting that I don’t know things, a lot of humiliation - and I don’t enjoy that at all. I don’t understand why anyone could possibly enjoy resolving intellectual conflict, and I conclude that people who engage in it don’t like each other. I reserve the right to emotionally go after them, because how dare they fight in front of me. Thus, I will make all intellectual issues personal because I don’t want to do the research and enter the arena of public debate, and whenever an intellectual debate arises I will blame them for having a conflict in front of me and attack them because of how stupid I feel.
Now, the reason behind these faulty positions is a failure to want to learn something - either personal conflict resolution (that was scary for me) or whatever intellectual subject is being discussed. The former is unacceptable, Miss_S needed to go to therapy, topic closed. The latter is okay, until you start resenting those who do want to be intellectually competent. It is not a sin for me to know more about a particular subject than you do, and wanting to resolve the intellectual difference with a friend so he or she has the best beliefs and knowledge on hand.
So let us go back to the Law and Order show. The reason the topic was closed was because of the adult topics, an entirely different aspect than these faulty positions. The topic, as far as I am aware, was meant to resolve intellectual differences of belief and not be a place for personal conflict resolution. In the old days/Golden Age, the took latter place in-game.
What may have confused a lot of people was that many of my old posts were people-reading in nature. People-reading is an intellectual form of conflict resolution that people use to answer the question “Who is so-and-so?” and, by extension “what is their motive in encouraging me to believe this?”. This is part of intellectual conflict resolution and it is a highly intellectual process. But, to those operating on premise 2 above, it can look like personal conflict resolution. I can tell you that it is not. I can sit here and read someone for years and leave a personal conflict unresolved for the exact same number of years. It’s just an intellectual understanding of someone else, important to establish, but not a personal connection.
Because personal conflict has gotten more complicated these days, we got more tools like chess.com messaging, etc, to help us deal with it. One of the interesting effects of the recent convulsions, at least in my view, was forcing some of the more intellectually minded Aethasians to work out some of their personal issues. But, you know, we’re all still nerd-y and you can’t really expect us to go all warm and fuzzy on each other, it just doesn’t work that way.
And being an intellectual isn’t really against the rules, it’s just that the moderators have to approve the kid-friendliness of the topic these days. This approval is needed because some teenagers and adults ahem myself included, proved that we couldn’t handle an all-you-can-think-of intellectual conflict resolution topic in 2021. We gave the proverbial Theodore C. Rockman too much intellectual Turkish Delight, and all of the kids ran away in horror. So intellectual discussion may continue in standard topics, and that is fine - we can be rebuked for getting off the approved topic in that case.
But this Reconciliation Bench topic is the opposite of Law and Order, and actually operates based on premise 1 above, dragging personal conflicts into the light of public scrutiny. So, @Danyul_Braziervest, my personal recommendation is that said topic is a bad idea, and that it is actually worse than Law and Order. Law and Order was supposed to be an intellectual conflict resolution topic. This is a personal conflict resolution topic, and those are best resolved privately, as per the Scriptural guidelines in Matthew 18, and also, to evade public humiliation for the afflicted parties, reducing the emotional tension involved.
If you have an interest on mediation of personal conflicts, I would encourage the use of an in-game location, chess, or another website no one wants named. The Member’s President or anyone else may be on in-game at a certain place at a certain time for this purpose (out of the way, not NML, obviously) for personal conflict mediation. It could be organized. It could even be in Evergreen Meadows like the original Braziervest’s Bench. But even that has a flaw - the person involved needs to go to the person they have a problem with first before dragging the problem to you. This should be encouraged.
So anyway, there’s my $20 on the issue. I hope this clears this issue up, and may the best candidates win.