I have a formal policy of treating others with respect. I address it in the notes on my About Me post.I talk at length about in my post Kasey's Rules for World Peace. But now I'm taking it one step further and asking you to sign on to this policy, and to spread the idea to others.
Like me, are you tired of all the name-calling? Whether the topic is politics, religion, animal rights, or which side of the bread you should butter, what does it accomplish to call the other side of an argument "jerks", "morons", or worse? You're not bringing anyone around to your point of view by insulting them. You're only making the disagreement more acrimonious.
Our goals in any disagreement should be to convey our beliefs and learn the other person's, then to use reason, logic, education and/or empathy to persuade. When we disrespect the person on the other side of the divide, we alienate them and lose any chance we may have had to ever reach accord.
So here it is:
I pledge to elevate the discourse when I enter a debate. I pledge to show understanding and tolerance of different points of view, and not make assumptions about people's intelligence or worth on the basis of a difference of opinion from mine. I pledge to discuss, not disrespect.
Will you take the pledge too?