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.
And true give and take dialogue is rare here. It seems everyone has already drunk their own version of the koolaid and they come here mostly to find folks who agree with them... some original posters never come back to a thread that isn't supporting their original idea. Maybe this is true of many sites but MDC is the only one I visit.
But yeah, some pf the flavor of MDC is gone for me. I saw a post just the other day about not pumping your breastmilk.. just to give the 6 month old solids while you are gone. That seems very anti-NFL to me.
Eh, a forum, by its very nature is a place to offer and exchange ideas. If you don't want to hear opinions different from your own... why bother posting at all?
I agree, a debate forum would attract those looking to bash NFL / AP parenting and such. Plus, if I understand what the MDC mission is, certain topics are NOT up for debate, like:
As far as I understand, MDC will not host discussion praising the benefits and glory of circumcision, or elective cesareans, or CIO....right??? I can see that a debate forum would only invite those who are pro-circ, pro-CIO, pro elective cesareans, etc...to voice their views. Those folks have the entire www to support them and can voice those views elsewhere, not here though.
Plus, it would need such heavy moderation for the above reasons, that would it really be worth it? And it would require threads started in one forum (UC, for example) moved there once they heated up, hence more moderation and confusion and disorganization of topics. I also agree that some debating is unavoidable, and natural and okay. As long as all remain respectful and stick to the original guidelines of MDC, I don;t really see why these conversations need to be moved. For example, there is a thread in TAO right now which turned into a bit of a debate (it veered OT that way actually) about when, if ever, it is okay to leave children alone in a car. It was never disrespectful or very heated, but there were plenty of "I disagree"-type posts. So what, does that mean that thread would have to go in the Debate forum? I think that would just be silly.
So no, I think it would be superfluous to have a special debate forum. Maybe for vaccines, as people do come here seeking both sides and many NFL mamas do choose do vaccinate...it is not on one side of the fence or the other necessarily, kwim. But otherwise I say nay on the debate forum.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
I understand what you mean, but I think that I have engaged in discussions where different ideas were critiqued respectfully and people did modify or completely change their viewpoint as a result. While some broad agreement on NFL / AP may (must) be presumed, there is a lot of room for debate and discussion of the subtler points and techniques. I agree that we dont come to debate for the sake of debate but often critical reflection and discussion is necessary for us to understand our own philosophies, put them in to practice and adapt them to our own family circumstances. Especially when some of them are completely unsupported by those around us. If we have a very theoretical understanding of elimination communication, or of gentle discipline, or unschooling or of natural health then we risk having no practical resources when we face any challenge - those are the times these forums become valuable - invaluable, actually. To realize this value we have to be able to challenge our own ideas, question and debate them.
So in answer to Cynthia Mosher's call for ideas about a "Parenting Philosophies forum" I don't really see the purpose of it - as every forum is there to discuss some branch of parenting philosophy, wrt health, education, behaviour etc. In the unschooling forum we have had quite eye-opening discussions about unschooling, and for every shade of unschooling there is another shade which seems 'opposite' to that one and yet both are unschooling. It is possible for both to have a constructive and respectful debate that sheds light on each approach. These are the kinds of debates that are useful to practicing parents.
no longer or or ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
My point is that they're here already. And mods won't be able to stay on top them with the new minimal moderation policy. If we can't fight it, we may as well channel it. It's also a place to redirect these posters when they come into other forums. Most of us could choose to ignore the separate forum.
every forum i have been on debates alot of topics, but a subforum for debates and creating threads that are for debating hot topics is a good idea and I have seen it implemented on other forums well. However in saying that, it does not stop debates, but it can give an outlet for not derailing every thread, plus you can take debates that spark up in a thread and move them over to the approrpiate forum or already started thread.
I only read small parts of this forum, philomom is so right on the koolaid part. TBH I dont see a lot of these threads as debates because there really is no give or take. However a seperate forum is still a good idea.
I thought the "Vaccinations" forum is for debate/discussion? And the subforums were intended to be 'support only'?? (Though the forum name "I'm Not Vaxing" seems to invite retaliation lol) Maybe I've been confused all along...
I don't know that it's not wanting to hear differing opinions... just that many of us want ideas and opinions that are at least somewhat in line with our parenting philosophies. For ex., if I post a question about BF'ing difficulties, I don't want a bunch of posts telling me to switch to formula, and if I talk about sleep issues, I don't want everyone telling me to just CIO. I want ideas to overcome BF'ing issues without using formula, and sleep solutions that are more gentle, but I would be open to a range of ideas within that realm.
I do like the idea of a "Hot Topics" forum... because sometimes you need to see both sides of an issue to truly understand it... and sometimes the drama makes for good reading. I agree that it might attract some more mainstream people and that could be a good thing but could also make it hard to keep the NFL principles dominant throughout the rest of MDC.