RULES FOR CRITICS

Rules for Critics for Christ Jesus Ministries Official Facebook Group

1. The previous set of rules applies in this set, e.g. “The General Rules.”

2. Critical comments cannot exceed a character limit of 1,000. However, it is preferable if critical comments are kept at 500 characters or less.

3. Critical comments must also have a compliment for the person receiving the criticism.

4. The critical comment and following responses cannot contain a link but can reference outside source material.

5. The critical comment must not demand an immediate response. It would be preferable to use email response time, i.e. 24-48 hours.

6. The critical comment must begin with a formal polite greeting and end in good faith, much like one would expect a professional email to do. Statements are to be expressed tentatively and openly.

7. The critic and the person receiving the criticism are limited to two-exchanges per post.

8. The rules are subject to change and updating. Violators will have their critical comment removed. Violators are given a second chance to reform their comment. They will be sent a note to explain what rule was violated and their comment will be attached for readjustment. Members can contact the Moderators, or the Admin, if these rules are not being followed.

A Return to Civil Discourse

I, Christopher Sernaque, figured I should set forth an example of a fictional dialogue that abides by the Rules for Critics, as an example and explanation for some of the rules. I want to limit the amount of characters in a critical comment as it gives the critic less room to add insulting language and thus, they must focus on the crux of their argument, instead of using emotional attacks. I require a genuine compliment as I want this discussion to be more inviting and less inflaming. The email formality is better suited to a genuine conversation, instead of tending towards an ugly encounter as ill thought out and hasty responses often do. Here is an example of the kind of dialogue I am envisioning and striving to work towards myself.

Individual A Posts: “I believe that DNA is powerful evidence of Intelligent Design. It has complex and specified information and I think that indicates that a mind (God) was behind its creation.”

Critic A Responds in Comment Section:

“Dear Individual A,

Greetings. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I appreciate the way that you articulated your argument, your humble approach, i.e. saying "I think..." is admirable as it leaves room open for feedback. However, and I say this with all due respect, I disagree with your argument. I recommend that you purchase a copy of Professor Richard Dawkins’ "Blind-Watch Maker." I believe this book contains powerful evidence that refutes the idea that a designer is required for information to arise. For instance, in the third chapter of his book, "Accumulative Small Change", Dawkins's computer simulations demonstrate the power of cumulative selection. This, I believe, is why your argument is incorrect, as it underestimates the effect of cumulative selection and assumes that a deity is required for the existence of life. I thank you for taking the time to read my comment and I look forward to hearing from you when you get the chance. Have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Critic A.”

Individual A Responds in the Comment Section:

Dear Critic A,

Greetings. Thank you very much for responding. I like the way you neatly summarized Dawkins' argument. I have read the Blind Watchmaker, as I chose to do a summary for that book in biology class. I have also read Dawkins' book, "The Greatest Show on Earth" and Dr. Jonathan Sarfati's response, "The Greatest Hoax on Earth." Now to return to the point you raise about Dawkins and his computer morphs, I would still disagree with the idea that cumulative selection can account for the origin of information. I would direct you to CMI's article, "A Response to Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker." This article provides mathematical evidence against the possibility of a self-reproducing cell arising naturalistically. I would recommend that you read the entire article, but particularly the paragraph that begins with, "To put this in context..." as it shows the evolutionary origin of information is impossible, even given eons of time. Thank you for reading my response.

Sincerely,

Individual A

After Individual A Responds, Critic A has one more opportunity to respond, before Individual A closes the conversation. I figured since the Individual was the producer of the original post, they should have the final say in the conversation. The Critic can create their own post and cordially invite the Individual to continue to dialogue, however the Individual is under no obligation to respond.

Now, I write this return to Civil Discourse with a heavy heart, as I support free-speech and I believe that people should be able to express themselves. However, I want to raise the standard for the way we communicate with others online. As I said, it is all to easy to forget that the person you are having an argument with has a beating heart just like you do. It is easy to dehumanize someone when they have been reduced to a profile picture and text. So, I want the dialogue on this platform to be as civil as possible. I think it will be a better experience for everyone and arguments will be turned into learning experiences.

I am also open to anyone’s suggestions. I am not proposing a rigid set of arbitrary rules and I am willing to change these rules as the need arises. For instance, perhaps critical comments can have links in them, so long as the comment directs the person you are responding to a specific point in the article, that way we are not just “throwing links” at each other.

I would also be willing to increase the word count, or perhaps even switch to unlimited word count. I was able to use this link and get my fictional examples in at around 1,000 characters. https://wordcounter.net/

I am open to suggestions and I hope and pray that each of us can reflect the image of Christ Jesus, speaking the Truth of the riches of His grace without taking any cheap shots.