dwai

What is a discourse and are there any guidelines?

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Over the recent few weeks it has become clear that discourse is a topic that is much misunderstood by many members and on various internet fora in general.  

 

I'm going to rely on an ancient tradition of discourses in the Indic traditions to articulate the different types there can be. 

An exchange between two parties can be categorized as follows --

 

  • Samvāda - An exchange between a student and a Teacher
  • vāda - An exchange between two equals
  • jalpa - An exchange between two parties who are convinced that each of them is right and the other is wrong
  • vitanda - Where the sole purpose is to defeat the other person, by whatever means possible

 

In any discourse it becomes evident (fairly quickly) when it descends down to the level of jalpa and vitanda. In some cases it can be samvāda, like for instance when an expert writes about something and other interact with him/her for the sake of learning (asking clarifying questions and clearing doubts). In most cases, on egalitarian internet fora such as TDB, it should really be vāda that is the status quo. Two sincere and equally interested parties, giving each other due respect, start a discourse. The nature of the discourse is amicable and the objective of the discourse being a better understanding of each others' perspectives. It could even be a debate, but the proper rules of debating in that case need to apply. The outcome of said debate could be that one parties' views and opinions emerge as the better perspective and then the other would concede their view (or concede temporarily while they go back to work on their view and see where they might have missed out). 

 

If a discussion is started by positing erroneous and/or deliberately misrepresentative points about the others' perspective,  it is more than likely  jalpa. 

 

A civil discourse (vāda) has the following characteristics --

 

  • No strawman arguments
  • No ad hominem attacks
  • A sincere attempt to understand and articulate the other's perspective/position (Purva Paksha) and then proceeding to articulate one's own position (Uttara Paksha) which would be the rebuttal (khandana) of the Purva Paksha. 
  • When sound points are made by either party, they are treated with respect and addressed appropriately.
  • If a sound rebuttal is not possible, concede the point(s). 

 

This way, people can grow and learn from each other, rather than descend down to "wrestling with in mud". In another thread recently someone commented, that if they were to follow all these guidelines, there would not be any exchanges on internet fora. While for the majority of the fora that might be true, I think for a forum such as TDB, with a lot of highly knowledgeable and sincere members, it should not be that difficult a task.

 

I hope you all feel free to share your thoughts as you feel necessary. 

 

 

 

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This topic should clearly go under 'Hindu' discussion and not in General section, if it is about some Hindu methods of discourse.  If there is concern once again on what other members can discuss or not discuss, then it should go under the 'Forum and Tech Support' section.  I don't see this as a General topic of spiritual discussion.

 

I think it should be moved to the appropriate section of the forum.

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1 hour ago, s1va said:

This topic should clearly go under 'Hindu' discussion and not in General section, if it is about some Hindu methods of discourse.  If there is concern once again on what other members can discuss or not discuss, then it should go under the 'Forum and Tech Support' section.  I don't see this as a General topic of spiritual discussion.

 

I think it should be moved to the appropriate section of the forum.

Now it seems you are trying to wield your power as a moderator. While it is about the dharmic way ( not specially Hindu, as Buddhists follow this method too), it is meant to elicit conversation from all, irrespective of tradition. I would request you move it back to the general forum. 

Edited by dwai
typographic error fixing
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If you do not like or agree with the flow, tone or conetent of discussion you did not start the solution is simple- do not participate. If it is a discussion you have begun, you can always have it moved to your PPD and have things your way.

 

You are trying to establish a hierarchy among members that will never be recognized on TDB.

 

Every member is encouraged to participate in any topic in the general areas of the forum without discrimination.

 

If you want to lay out rules for discussion in your PPD that's fine, but your rules will never be recognized by staff nor will membership in any way be forced to adhere to them.

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19 minutes ago, Kar3n said:

If you do not like or agree with the flow, tone or conetent of discussion you did not start the solution is simple- do not participate. If it is a discussion you have begun, you can always have it moved to your PPD and have things your way.

 

You are trying to establish a hierarchy among members that will never be recognized on TDB.

 

Every member is encouraged to participate in any topic in the general areas of the forum without discrimination.

 

If you want to lay out rules for discussion in your PPD that's fine, but your rules will never be recognized by staff nor will membership in any way be forced to adhere to them.

It seems the hierarchy is already at work here Karen. People like you, Siva, etc get to call the shots :) 

Why does an insignificant nobody like me rub you guys the wrong way so much?

 

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41 minutes ago, dwai said:

Now it seems you are trying to wield your power as a moderator. While it is about he dharmic way ( not specially Hindu, as Buddhists follow this method too), it is meant to elicit conversation from all, irrespective of tradition. I would request you move it back to the general forum. 

 

Call it what you want.  There is a reason for the different sections of the forum.

 

Personally, I could (and would) spare myself of your lecture/discourse on Dharma.

 

Good luck with the discussion!

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Just now, s1va said:

 

Call it what you want.  There is a reason for the different sections of the forum.

 

Personally, I could (and would) spare myself of your lecture/discourse on Dharma.

Gee...then all you have to do is ignore my posts. Why exercise your powers of moderation for that? :D 

Just now, s1va said:

 

Good luck with the discussion!

:rolleyes:

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25 minutes ago, Kar3n said:

You are trying to establish a hierarchy among members that will never be recognized on TDB.

 

Every member is encouraged to participate in any topic in the general areas of the forum without discrimination.

 

I appreciate you spelling this out very clearly.  That is exactly what is going on, some trying to establish an hierarchy over other members here.

 

It's just despicable and they just don't seem to give up, and just keep at it obsessively!

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4 minutes ago, dwai said:

Gee...then all you have to do is ignore my posts. Why exercise your powers of moderation for that?

 

As a member, I can happily ignore your "discourses" as needed.  But as a staff, I won't sit by and let you dictate your distorted hierarchy and qualifications on other members here.

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I consider some Hindu concepts as general concepts as they are common in most belief systems.

 

And then, I like to occasionally butt in on Hindu discussions where there is common understanding between Hindu and Taoism. 

 

So I guess it doesn't matter to me in what sub-forum it is in, I likely would have posted to it regardless.

 

Okay.  What is the thread about?

 

Yes.  Types of discourses.  Four were presented.

 

Do we get to choose the type we prefer?

 

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3 minutes ago, s1va said:

 

I appreciate you spelling this out very clearly.  That is exactly what is going on, some trying to establish an hierarchy over other members here.

Ad hominem :)

You are ascribing intent when there is none. 

3 minutes ago, s1va said:

It's just despicable and they just don't seem to give up, and just keep at it obsessively!

That is ad hominem too. Calling someone despicable because you don't agree with them.

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6 minutes ago, s1va said:

 

As a member, I can happily ignore your "discourses" as needed.  But as a staff, I won't sit by and let you dictate your distorted hierarchy and qualifications on other members here.

It is a free country sir. Neither do I have the powers to influence people in the way you suggest, nor do I have the intention. People are free to read what I post and react in whatever way possible, including the way you have. Only most of them don't have the power to move my posts around like you did...

Edited by dwai
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4 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I consider some Hindu concepts as general concepts as they are common in most belief systems.

 

And then, I like to occasionally butt in on Hindu discussions where there is common understanding between Hindu and Taoism. 

 

So I guess it doesn't matter to me in what sub-forum it is in, I likely would have posted to it regardless.

:)

4 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

 

Okay.  What is the thread about?

 

Yes.  Types of discourses.  Four were presented.

 

Do we get to choose the type we prefer?

 

Or add a type if it suits you. The four types were articulated as a conversation starter :)

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8 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I consider some Hindu concepts as general concepts as they are common in most belief systems.

 

And then, I like to occasionally butt in on Hindu discussions where there is common understanding between Hindu and Taoism. 

 

So I guess it doesn't matter to me in what sub-forum it is in, I likely would have posted to it regardless.

 

Okay.  What is the thread about?

 

Yes.  Types of discourses.  Four were presented.

 

Do we get to choose the type we prefer?

 

 

This topic is more than what it appears to be.  Some attempts were initially made in a certain thread first to tell others what they can and cannot discuss here.  When that did not go well, a topic was started along the lines, 'you are NOT qualified.....'.  It did not end there.  Further efforts were made along the same lines in another thread of mine earlier today.  When I spelt out clearly that demands on other members won't be tolerated in my thread, immediately as a retaliation this thread was started.

 

It needs to be seen in it's context.  Unfortunately many may not see it in context and jump to conclusions.  This is fine with me.

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3 minutes ago, s1va said:

This topic is more than what it appears to be.  

I try to not get involved in domestic disputes.  I feel I have a good working relationship with both of you.  This is another place where I will not be taking sides but I will continue to communicate with the both of you.

 

I don't jump.  I see the conflict.  There is nothing I can do about it.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, s1va said:

 

This topic is more than what it appears to be.  Some attempts were initially made in a certain thread first to tell others what they can and cannot discuss here.  When that did not go well, a topic was started along the lines, 'you are NOT qualified.....'.  It did not end there.  Further efforts were made along the same lines in another thread of mine earlier today.  When I spelt out clearly that demands on other members won't be tolerated in my thread, immediately as a retaliation this thread was started.

 

It needs to be seen in it's context.  Unfortunately many may not see it in context and jump to conclusions.  This is fine with me.

 

So let me get this straight. You accused me of interfering on your thread and did a bunch of ad hominem. So I decided to let it alone.

 

I want to see what the rest of the bums think of discourse in general within a structured framework. And now you think I'm trying to "rig the system" in some way? :D

 

Gee Siva..can you not see how defensive you are getting? Why do you care what I post and write? Did I call you names? Did I insult you?  Did I do anything except point out what I consider straw man arguments against AV in the other threads?

 

This topic is not even about AV or KS anymore. This is just to get a gauge of what people think we should do, in order to have amicable discourses. Why does it bother you so much? :o 

 

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1 minute ago, Marblehead said:

I try to not get involved in domestic disputes.  I feel I have a good working relationship with both of you.  This is another place where I will not be taking sides but I will continue to communicate with the both of you.

 

I don't jump.  I see the conflict.  There is nothing I can do about it.

 

 

 

I understand and appreciate it.  Yes, I try to not get involved in them either.

 

But, when one is forced in my face, I don't back off without a say also!

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Just now, s1va said:

 

I understand and appreciate it.  Yes, I try to not get involved in them either.

 

But, when one is forced in my face, I don't back off without a say also!

:rolleyes:

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21 minutes ago, dwai said:

It seems the hierarchy is already at work here Karen. People like you, Siva, etc get to call the shots :) 

Why does an insignificant nobody like me rub you guys the wrong way so much?

 

The only thing that rubs me the wrong was is your persistence in trying to place some rules on how discussion should go outside of your PPD.

 

The founding principles are very clear...

Quote

TDBs' Cultural Context and Founding Principles
The purpose of this document is to concisely state the most fundamental framework principles that give TDBs it's distinctive shape.  This is not "all the rules, permutations, etc",  just the steel beams.

TDBs exists in the general field of "The Search for Truth".
The Usual organized formats (schools) for The Search tend to have:
    1. focus exclusively within a school
    2. hierachical learning structure, hierachical ability to speak
TheDàoBums' founding principles form a deliberate cultural counter-point:
    1. run independently of any school, which allows a more eclectic atmosphere
    2. conversational learning, egalitarian ability for members to speak
TDBs' social format is "cafeteria", not "classroom".  It's part of TDBs' premise that, broadly in culture, these two formats are necessary, distinct yet complementary.

TheDàoBums has a strong egalitarian ethic in that it's whole purpose is to provide a civil very open context for member conversations.  However, its governance structure is mostly top down; it's not a democracy.
- admins - own / run the board
- moderators - enforce rules
- members - converse  :)

TDBs' Conversational Context:
1. At TDBs member participation in conversation is non-hierarchical.  Meaning, members have equal ability to talk regardless of level of knowledge, achievement, or status / credentials of any kind.  TDBs has an underlying ethic of valuing the communication of each person.

2. TDBs most basic rules about conversationare around civility (leaving enough flexibility for lively debate).  A moderator's basic role is to moderate members' uncivility toward each other in coversation.  Members support this process by 'reporting' offending posts.

www.thedaobums.com/topic/31825-thedaobums-three-foundations-eclectic-egalitarian-civil/

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3 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I try to not get involved in domestic disputes.  I feel I have a good working relationship with both of you.  This is another place where I will not be taking sides but I will continue to communicate with the both of you.

 

I don't jump.  I see the conflict.  There is nothing I can do about it.

 

 

There IS no conflict. I never aspired to have the powers of moderation of this forum, nor do I care to "win" or "lose" except point out where I see issues with flagellation of straw men. Strangely I have a soft corner for those poor straw men. 

 

Just now, Marblehead said:

The last comment I will make regarding this is that I hope the two of you can find a way to make peace.

 

I have nothing but love for Siva (and all those who seem to dislike me and my posts). God's honest truth there. 

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7 minutes ago, Kar3n said:

The only thing that rubs me the wrong was is your persistence in trying to place some rules on how discussion should go outside of your PPD.

As a netizen who is a member of long standing, with no special histrionic abilities or infamy of note besides being participant of the Buddhabum wars back in the day, I don't see why I cannot make suggestions about how discourses should be had. Whether people like to follow it or not, whether it carries weight or not should be dependent on the other bums. I don't understand why this should rub you the wrong way. 

 

Oh and I forgot, when the Hindu sub-forum was created, I was invited to be a steward. I don't know if stewardships are still in vogue, but I agreed and I do from time to time (very rarely) intervene on the Hindu sub-forum. Beyond that, I've never had any issues with people expressing themselves in any which way. 

Quote

The founding principles are very clear...

www.thedaobums.com/topic/31825-thedaobums-three-foundations-eclectic-egalitarian-civil/

Beautiful and wonderful. Does it say anything there about not discussing ways to engage in discourse?

 

In fact, after reading the founding principles of the forum it seems this topic should be of extra interest to all parties involved. All this thread does is call out some options for civil discourse. 

Quote

2. TDBs most basic rules about conversationare around civility (leaving enough flexibility for lively debate).  A moderator's basic role is to moderate members' uncivility toward each other in coversation.  Members support this process by 'reporting' offending posts.

 

Edited by dwai

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4 minutes ago, dwai said:

 

So let me get this straight. You accused me of interfering on your thread and did a bunch of ad hominem. So I decided to let it alone.

 

I want to see what the rest of the bums think of discourse in general within a structured framework. And now you think I'm trying to "rig the system" in some way? :D

 

Gee Siva..can you not see how defensive you are getting? Why do you care what I post and write? Did I call you names? Did I insult you?  Did I do anything except point out what I consider straw man arguments against AV in the other threads?

 

This topic is not even about AV or KS anymore. This is just to get a gauge of what people think we should do, in order to have amicable discourses. Why does it bother you so much? :o 

 

 

Whatever I say is just fueling your obsession more and more and resulting as retaliation here.  Therefore, I won't continue answering you and keep fueling this.

 

Good luck in getting to the center and come out of this obsession.

 

Good night fellow bums :)

 

 

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1 minute ago, s1va said:

 

Whatever I say is just fueling your obsession more and more and resulting as retaliation here.  Therefore, I won't continue answering you and keep fueling this.

 

Good luck in getting to the center and come out of this obsession.

:wub:

1 minute ago, s1va said:

 

Good night fellow bums :)

 

 

Good night brother. Love and light :)

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30 minutes ago, dwai said:

As a netizen who is a member of long standing, with no special histrionic abilities or infamy of note besides being participant of the Buddhabum wars back in the day, I don't see why I cannot make suggestions about how discourses should be had. Whether people like to follow it or not, whether it carries weight or not should be dependent on the other bums. I don't understand why this should rub you the wrong way. 

 

Oh and I forgot, when the Hindu sub-forum was created, I was invited to be a steward. I don't know if stewardships are still in vogue, but I agreed and I do from time to time (very rarely) intervene on the Hindu sub-forum. Beyond that, I've never had any issues with people expressing themselves in any which way. 

Beautiful and wonderful. Does it say anything there about not discussing ways to engage in discourse?

 

In fact, after reading the founding principles of the forum it seems this topic should be of extra interest to all parties involved. All this thread does is call out some options for civil discourse. 

 

Discussion is one thing but to try to establish guidelines or qualifications for discussion outside of a PPD as you have done in another topic is something I will stand against with every fiber of my being and I will make no apologies for it.

 

It is one of my jobs here to see that the founding principles are adhered to and it is my hope that you are now clear where I am coming from and the basis of my strong response to yet another topic on how bums should interact in general areas of the forum.

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