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Beyond that, it is true that most members value respect, civility, intellectual rigour and the free exchange of ideas.  Not all but most.  And those who do not sometimes find another place to go, but sometimes they stick around and eventually come to embrace those values themselves.  Not because anyone tells them to, not because it's a requirement, not because it's "who we are," but because they see it in action, often successfully, and appreciate the kind of atmosphere it engenders.

Once you start compiling a list of "our values," we start defining ourselves against others, closing them out.  I think it's more constructive to leave the door open and address/debate/agree to disagree on certain "values" as the issue of them arises.  Not only does it create a interesting discussion, but it also forces you to come back and repeatedly reassess or defend your "values."  And doing that can be a great learning experience.

Not to mention that I may not share a certain value with one person (perhaps on the issue of spirituality) but may enjoy great solidarity with them regarding something else (human rights issues.)  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:00:05 PM EST

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