2. You are expected to back up your assertions, so don't be surprised if you happen to get called on them. If you fail to back up an assertion when called on it, but refuse to retract the statement, understand that I reserve the right to delete the relevant comment and all subsequent comments you attempt to make. If you are asked a direct question relevant to the topic, then you will be expected to answer it in a straightforward and non-evasive manner; providing links in lieu of answers is not acceptable. (Links providing additional information in support of your answer are great, of course.) The dishonest and evasive tactics that are so common in Internet argumentation are not permitted here. If you refuse to either answer a question or admit that you cannot answer it, then you will not be permitted to comment here and all of your subsequent comments will be deleted.
3. Cross-comments and off-topic comments will usually be deleted. If your comment gets deleted, deal with it. Don't try to argue with me about it, I'm truly not interested. If you have a serious problem with the deletion of a comment, then email me. More than one individual has managed to get himself banned by refusing to accept the reality that his precious comment was seen to be of no value here and deleted.
4. This is not a democracy. Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. If Spacebunny or I tell you not to comment here, for whatever reason, then please go share your unique gems of wisdom somewhere else. There are thousands of blogs out there and perhaps some will value them; I clearly don't. So, just go away, this isn't an appropriate venue for you to work out your personal issues for our entertainment. On a related note, please don't respond to the trolls. There are at least five people who have been banned that insist on trying to comment here from time to time under different names; just ignore them as someone will get around to deleting their comments as well as the comments of those who respond to them soon enough.
5. You are expected to be polite to your fellow commenters, especially if you don't know them. The regulars, who have been commenting here for years and know each other reasonably well, often engage each other in a vicious and vituperative manner that you should not try to imitate because you are not an accepted part of the group yet. Take your best shot, by all means, but attack the idea, not the individual.
6. You will not call me a liar without providing any evidence of my lying, nor will you attempt to attribute to me words I have not written or actions I have not performed. If you do, your comments will be deleted and you will probably be banned. A similar consequence will meet any attempts to "out" me or any other individual commenting here; in my case, such attempts are particularly stupid as they demonstrate little more than a lack of familiarity with both the classic languages and Wikipedia.
7. I am fair game. Spacebunny and other members of my family are not, so any personal attacks on them will be immediately deleted. Also, it is unwise to annoy Spacebunny as I have no problem with playing favorites; she and the long-time regulars will always be favored over drive-by commenters.
8. Don't make assumptions about the regulars here based on my ideology and religious faith. They're not all Christians, much less Creationists. Most are not libertarians. A fair number are not Americans. And some don't even play computer games or read SF/F fiction. They do, however, tend to skew much more intelligent and broadly educated than you're probably accustomed to encountering. And I don't expect everyone to agree with me on everything, in fact, given my oft-stated belief that most people are idiots, it would greatly concern me if they did.
9. If you haven't read The Irrational Atheist, don't bother trying to critique it. You're wrong. Your arguments are not new and they have been brought up many times before, usually by atheists who are smarter than you are. While you won't be banned, you will be humiliated and even your fellow atheists will point at you and laugh.
10. Any insertion of evolution or Creationism into a post that is not directly and specifically related to either subject will be deleted. Repeated efforts to do so will result in banning. Do not attempt to hijack posts; if you are interested in a discussion of a particular subject, email me a request.
11. If you have made several comments that lead me to observe you have nothing interesting to contribute to an ongoing discussion, I reserve the right to tell you to stop commenting on that post. A refusal to abide by my decision will lead to banning. This is at my sole discretion.
12. In general, you will be well-served if you stop to think for thirty seconds and read everything twice before responding to it. It's also wise to ask if your assumptions are correct before launching critical attacks. I have been writing controversial opinion commentary on a very public site for seven years now, so the chances are pretty high that I saw and successfully dealt with your argument long before you first formulated your thoughts on the subject. Remember, there are few original thoughts under the sun.
13. If you have repeatedly shown yourself to be the sort of petty, ankle-biting critic who has no genuine interest in discussion or debate, but merely wishes to criticize by any means necessary, it is very unlikely that I will respond to your questions or arguments. This failure to respond should not be interpreted as the difficulty of the former or the strength of the latter. If you are not willing to argue in good faith, then I see absolutely no need to pay any attention to you. Furthermore, if you are one of the small group of persistent anklebiters who insist on making the same tedious and incompetent attacks over and over again, I will simply delete your comments. This group includes, but is not necessarily limited to Beezle, Cabal, Cisbio, Dan Picaro, and the weirdo who keeps posting about his ancestors being fish.
14. It is my intention to give individual commenters two opportunities per post to criticize what I have posted there. Since I do not have any interest whatsoever in wasting time on futile attempts to explain things to the willfully obtuse, the intellectually underpowered, or the disingenuous, I will cease to engage with a commenter after he has committed two demonstrable errors of fact or logic in that comment thread. While I will identify those errors, I am not inclined to be drawn into tangential discussions of them. Attempts to claim that my refusal to further engage with a commenter whose arguments have repeatedly been demonstrated to be flawed are the result of cowardice or an inability to respond are false and will be deleted.
15. If you give me reason to believe that you are not interested in honest, straightforward interaction, I will inform you of my conclusions and spam your comments. Continued attempts to post comments here will be considered harassment and dealt with accordingly.
29. These Rules may in no case be interpreted contrary to the purposes and principles of Vox Day, as determined by Vox Day.