How about a separate “Moral Foundations and Principles” forum?
Posted: 24 June 2010 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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First, thanks for your efforts at putting up this forum site and maintaining it.  I have found lots of posts with interesting discussions.  But I have a suggestion.
I am surprised there is not a separate forum on the sources of secular morality.  This is a topic that is important to Humanists, of current interest (the science of morality has been in the news a lot), and I expect of interest to a lot of readers.

As the forums are set up now, posts on secular morality are scattered all over the place (but mainly in Philosophy, Humanism, Religion and Secularism, and General Discussion forums).  This makes it harder to find posts that may be interesting.  I also expect it reduces cross-pollenization of relevant ideas and the critical mass needed to keep good discussions going and prompt new ones. 

For instance, if I search for “morality” in post titles, I get 16 posts that look interesting and for “moral” I get over 30 posts that look interesting, both sets scattered semi randomly across forums.  And there is no way to know how many relevant posts I missed because the authors did not put “morality” or “moral” in the title.

I have something on the subject I would like to post, but am reluctant to just have it lost among posts that are not about morality.

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Posted: 24 June 2010 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting idea.  Let’s see what the Administrators think of it.  They did add Center Stage recently.  Meanwhile, you could post it in Humanism and use the title, “Morality” so it would show up in a search. smile

Occam

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Posted: 24 June 2010 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Our folder organization is far from perfect, but then none can ever really be so. No matter what finite selection of topics we pick, some will fall between the cracks. It’s easy to add a new subject like Center Stage since one isn’t then obliged to consider moving in past threads.

The major problem is that the site’s search function works terribly. I’ve known that for years, and talked to people about it. But I’m not optimistic about its changing, because it is included in the Forum software package ...

Meanwhile I think that Occam’s suggestion is correct. If you’re concerned about discussing secular morality, start up a thread with that in the title. Either philosophy or humanism would be the folders I’d choose.

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Posted: 25 June 2010 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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dougsmith - 24 June 2010 10:56 PM

Our folder organization is far from perfect, but then none can ever really be so. No matter what finite selection of topics we pick, some will fall between the cracks. It’s easy to add a new subject like Center Stage since one isn’t then obliged to consider moving in past threads.

The major problem is that the site’s search function works terribly. I’ve known that for years, and talked to people about it. But I’m not optimistic about its changing, because it is included in the Forum software package ...

Meanwhile I think that Occam’s suggestion is correct. If you’re concerned about discussing secular morality, start up a thread with that in the title. Either philosophy or humanism would be the folders I’d choose.

Doug, the search function here is much better than I have seen at many other sites.

The problem of old posts on the subject could be addressed by a ‘locked’ note about the new forum that informs people that posts on this topic prior to the forum’s initiation date can be found by using advanced search for “moral”, “Morality” or whatever else is appropriate in the post titles.

Then the biggest remaining problem might be getting moderators to commit to moderate a new forum as I assume is required for all the forums here.

There is supportive, but not conclusive, evidence that discussion of humanistic morality has suffered on this discussion board due to being scattered across several forums which results in a lack of critical density of interested readers.  A site called Free Thought and Rationalism’s discussion board (whose audience I assume has a similar interest in the foundations and principles of secular morality) started in 2004 and split off a separate Moral Foundations and Principles forum from their Philosophy forum in 2007. (They did not transfer any old posts on the subject to the new forum).  Correcting for the different durations the forums have been active, they have averaged more new threads in the Moral Foundations forum than in their Philosophy forum including its sub forum on free will.  (But the Moral foundations forum has averaged fewer posts to these new threads.  I don’t know what that indicates.)

My impression is that here on the CFI forums, total new threads on humanistic morality in all forums are a low fraction of the Philosophy new threads.  I think that indicates a critical density of interested readers problem.

My interest in this site is that, based on some comments I have read so far, there are participants here who may be able to make good comments and present insightful ideas that I don’t know how to get anywhere else.

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