Posting Guidelines

These forums aren't for everyone. Here's an incomplete list of good reasons why you should decline to post, in order to save the time of the post being deleted:

  • You start each sentence on a new line, write in all lowercase, place your posts in bold and italic, make posts along the lines of "ur so l33t dude" or otherwise choose to flagrantly ignore basic rules of communication in the English language or make obnoxious attempts for attention.
  • You believe the word "philosophy" simply means any belief/opinion you care to have. Note that philosophy is an actual subject - it has subject areas just as do Economics, Mathematics, Physics, etc. In "" the word "philosophy" is being used in its academic sense and not the "McDonald's Corporate Philosophy" sense or the "wow dude, I just had a really philosophical thought... pass the weed" sense.
  • You're looking to share your ultimate grand philosophical solution to life, the universe and everything with the poor peons who lack your brainpower. (Please scribble it on a restroom wall somewhere instead, that gives it a timeless power.)
  • You've proved the theory of relativity false (or otherwise overturned the foundations of science). We get these regularly, but we are sorry to say that this is not the proper audience for your great discoveries which prove you to be the world's smartest person. Submit to a respected scientific journal first, and once they publish you we'll listen.
  • You are currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol. PUI (posting under the influence) results in you mistaking your brain farts for gems of wisdom, getting you banned.
  • You want others to do your homework. (We are not here to help you cheat on your essay. Of course, you may start discussions that indirectly help you with your essay.)
  • You've had a paranormal experience and want feedback to reassure you of your supernatural powers or extraordinary importance in the scheme of things. (Whatever misconceptions you may have about the word 'philosophy', it is not about bending spoons with your mind. Go elsewhere.)
  • You're an evangelical looking for converts to your religion, mystic cult, or so-called philosophy of life. (There are much riper grounds elsewhere, you wouldn't get anywhere here.)
  • You're evangelically atheistic to the extent that you will spend endless hours circling the religion forum looking for religious people to tear down. (This is probably a good fishing spot, but we must ask to resist the temptation anyway.)
  • You want to tell conservatives/liberals why they're the scum of the earth. (This isn't a politics site. You're expected to have at least a minimal interest in philosophy if you register.)
  • You feel repressed by other forums and want to excercise your "right" to free speech, meaning the ability to talk about whatever you want wherever you want whenever you want. (Sorry, we have defined subjects here. You are expected to remain on topic, not to mention civilized.)
  • You have a website which you want to advertise. (Spammers are dealt with instantly and mercilessly. No, it does not matter if the site is non-profit or philosophy-related.)
  • You believe your unreadably bad grammar and spelling are justified as halmarks of your originality. (This forum is for communication, so you are required to be able to communicate in the language of the forum, which is English. You don't have to be a native speaker, but you need to be somewhat decent (babelfish doesn't do it) and most importantly you need to try.)
  • You're a banned user trying to sneak back in. (Banning decisions are final. You will be found, and all the posts made under your new name will be erased.)
Like any journal would, the forum has editorial standards for what content it will accept. This is by and large common sense and a matter of imitating your peers -- by reading posts you gain an idea of what sort of post is expected here.

This being a philosophy website, posts in the philosophy forums are expected to involve some careful reflection. If a post spills out of your brain in 30 seconds, please do not post it or it will be removed and you may be banned.

This is an English-language website, so posts must demonstrate a reasonable enough command of the language to communicate effectively (this does not mean you need to be a native speaker, but it means you have to put forth an effort and be reasonably educated).

This isn't a chat room, so such chat room time savers as "u" for "you" and the like will be considered indicators that you have not spent time on your post, and can lead to deletions and bannings. If you can't take the time to capitalize properly or use correct punctuation then we don't consider your lack of effort worth viewing and will remove your posts.
When creating a thread, your thread title is the way people will find the thread. When deciding on a title, it's your responsibility to keep in mind the interests of these sorts of visitors:
1) Searchers coming in from the site's internal search engine or from Google. Put useful keywords in your title that will allow people to locate your related content.
2) Guests browsing the forum. They have a limited amount of time, and must decide which 5 threads out of the top 20 they're going to click on today. They know their interests. Make sure your thread title gives them an idea of what to expect. The title should allow them to decide whether it's a subject they have a strong interest in or not.
3) People who've already read your thread who are looking to come back to it again. After reading your thread and perhaps posting, then going away, presuming they haven't subscribed your title is the only way they can re-locate it. Would someone who's read the thread but not necessarily memorized the title be able to recognize that your title stands for the content of that thread?

In other words, never title a thread something like "I'm new" (unless it's an introduction thread in the community forum) or "My thoughts." It's useless, it gives no one any idea what the thread is about and wastes people's time. The forum is a vast database of philosophy and the thread titles are indexes, so informative beats clever every time.