With MDC in transition to a less-moderated format, the mission and role is getting a little fuzzy. Some people see this as a place of support and encouragement among like-minded peers Others come seeking spirited debate. Sometimes these two motives collide.
Somebody wanting information about getting a vaccine exemption probably doesn't want to hear her decision debated, and someone who's lost a baby doesn't necessarily want to hear a midwives v. doctors debate. Any requests to stymie debate usually end up with objections about the right to disagree and debate. I don't dispute that right; after all, some tenets of the Natural Family Living lifestyle don't sit well with everybody. T
The infiltration of debaters is a relatively new thing since the new moderation policy went into effect. With minimal moderation, more debates will happen. That's just how it is.
But we can work with that fact, too I think there's a time and a place for debating.....which is exactly why I suggest that MDC CREATE that place.
For example, somebody in the Vaccination Forum made the excellent suggestion that there be a sub-forum, Vaccination Debate. This way, people seeking support can get support, and people seeking debate can get debate. I would also suggest a subforum for Homebirth Debate. This way, people wanting information about things like birth tubs or homebirth doulas can have their own refuge from all of the heated discussions that are currently taking place.
I haven't been to the Circ forum for awhile, but if debaters are starting to come in there, they could have THEIR own subforum. By the way, I like how the title of the Circ forum, The Case Against Circumcision, makes it clear that it is NOT a place for debate. Titles like "The Case Against Vaccination" or "The Case for Delayed/Selective Vaccination" might go far in conveying that same message.
Other members are free to chime in, but I just like the idea of keeping debate posts separate from support posts.