Debate Guidelines for Think Atheist Discussions

Welcome to Think Atheist!

First, take time to review the Terms of Service! Within the community there are various people of different beliefs, ideas and backgrounds. To streamline discussions and debates, here is a list of guidelines to follow:


********************Read below before posting to the forum****************************

Blogs go in the blogs section, discussions and debates go in the forum. Blog-type content goes in the blogs section, forum-type content goes in the forum section. That is, as a good rule of thumb, when deciding whether to post your content to your blog or the forum if you can imagine most of the members replying with "i agree!" or "haha! good one!" or "ugh. this drives me crazy too!"; if the content is a personal anecdote, a random observation, or an essay, it probably belongs on your blog. On the other hand, if the content asks a question or makes an assertion that you can imagine the members might want you to defend- in short, if it's going to start a discussion or a debate, then it probably goes in the forum. 

Threads go where threads go. Put your thread in the appropriate section of the forum so that when someone goes looking for a discussion on a particular topic they're more likely to find it rather than starting a new thread (usually the 5th or 6th on that same topic). This will keep the forum more organized and less repetitive and cluttered. The "Welcome to Think Atheist" section is specifically for new members to introduce themselves, it is not a dumping ground for threads. Neither is "Small Talk" a dumping ground for threads. As the description says, that section is for thread topics that don't seem to fit in any of the other sections.

As with any of the guidelines on this page, failure to follow these rules can and will result in consequences including removal of the content and suspension for incorrigibles.

****************Read above before posting to the forum!*********************************

These actions will result in immediate banning:

1.) -Threats of physical violence.

2.) -Revealing personal information about another member without prior permission.

3.) -Harassment of other members (If you are asked by a mod or member to cease all contact with anyone on T|A, immediate compliance is required. If you feel this is an issue that can be resolved, please email a moderator or Report an Issue. A mod will intervene and help mediate the problem).


These are NOT considered appropriate responses in discussions or blogs:

1.) -Logical Fallacies (please review entire list of fallacies; the two below are the most emphasized on Think Atheist):




2.) -Proselytizing. We want to engage in civil debate and discussion, but this is not the forum for trying to convert people to your particular religion or worldview.

3.) -Thread Hijacking (If your contribution is off topic and likely to divert from the author’s intended subject matter, please start your own discussion in its rightful category.)


4.) -Blind Links (You may not create a blog or discussion, nor respond in a blog or discussion, with only a link in the body and no written preview or explanation.)


5.) -Plagiarism. Although we encourage people to quote authors, it is not okay to use someone else's words as your own. Always cite articles, books, journals, etc! 


For recurrent inappropriate behavior, moderators will discuss whether temporary suspensions or bans are called-for. If a discussion gets too heated, moderators may opt to temporarily suspend a member or members (for up to 24 hours) so that they can "cool off" and come back to the discussion in a better frame of mind, and hopefully armed with more knowledge.

Please keep in mind that NAME CALLING, PERSONAL ATTACKS, and EXCESSIVE PROFANITY will likely result in you being blocked or ignored by others in the community, even those you were not specifically addressing. We are here to discuss in a mature fashion. Those that cannot do so are invited to go elsewhere. Mods can delete posts whenever necessary.

Common Courtesy

  • Out of courtesy, please label any content NSFW (Not Safe for Work) that contains excessive profanity or nudity, or anything else that could be construed as "offensive" while in the workplace or in front of family members.
  • We would also appreciate it if you tag your blogs and discussions for ease of organization on this ever-growing site!
  • Please avoid deleting discussions you have started, or deleting comments you have made that have several responses attached. It’s not fair to members who have typed thoughtful posts to have them suddenly disappear. Think how it would make you feel to have your words censored in this fashion!
  • If you're feeling too heated in a discussion, take a moment to calm down before continuing to engage. Moderating your own feelings is much better than having someone else do it (namely, the mod team).
  • Attempt to acknowledge when someone responds to arguments you have made, even if you don't agree with them. If you repeat the same argument over and over, without recognizing responses made to it, that is borderline proselytizing.

Thank you,

Morgan Matthew

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