Re: BG-Netiquette--please note

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Sep 29 1997 - 18:39:46 EDT

I would like to add a few of my own remarks about Netiquette here.

To me, one of the really attractive things about B-Greek is that it is
welcoming. When I first started participating here, my knowledge of Greek
wasn't all that great, and I still know MUCH less than many people here, but
nobody has ever suggested that I should drop out because I just don't know
enough Greek - of course, they correct my Greek all the time, but that's why
I'm here. I also know that my theological views are much more conservative
than those of Edward and Carl, but they treat my views with respect even
when they disagree. I want B-Greek to remain a welcoming, friendly place
where we can discuss and listen to each other.

Personally, I don't see our theological BELIEFS as a problem, as long as you
are dealing with them in passages that are actively being discussed, and
treating our opinions as opinions, not as a norm for everybody on the list.
In the same way that we want to make people who believe X welcome on the
list, we also want to make other people welcome on the list, and it is
particularly important for those of us who post frequently to be welcoming
to others who come from other perspectives. In other words, I would like us
to be coordial and welcoming to people with whom we disagree, to invite them
to express their views, and to be interested in what they have to say. To
me, B-Greek is more about discussion than debate.

So I find it perfectly acceptable to have strong opinions and to state them.
But I think it is highly inappropriate for B-Greek posts to shout that
others are WRONG and you are RIGHT, and if they disagree with you, B-Greek
is not the place to fight them to the death. On B-Greek, we discuss the
passages, and we discuss what each of us thinks the passages mean, but we do
*not* discuss whether it is OK to hold a view, or what is wrong with the
people who do hold such a view. Naturally, all of us are wrong much of the
time, but most of us are here because we really want to understand the Bible
better, and very few people on B-Greek can be thought of as idiots (after
all, we have to at least know some Greek to understand what is going on

Here are a few guidelines that can help us welcome all members to
participate, regardless of their views:

1. Before you post something to B-Greek, you might want to reread it, and
see if:

(1) it tells us which views are acceptable and which ones are not, what is
RIGHT and what is WRONG,
(2) it implies that there is something wrong with someone because of the way
they think or the views they hold (there is no problem with saying that
there is something wrong with an argument, but saying that there is
something wrong with a person is not OK),
(3) it includes an implied threat ("this will not be taken lightly")
(4) it invites us to divide ourselves up into different camps,
(5) it simply repeats points you have already made, without adding new
information (in which case it is usually better to sit it out, since you
have already said what you need to say, and repeating it will not add new light)

2. If people start saying we are getting off-track, it is time to stop. If
Edward or Carl officially say it is time to stop, it is *really* time to stop.

Every email program I've ever used lets you reread an email and decide
whether you really want to send it. This is one of the most useful and most
neglected features of email!


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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