The topic IS meta, so I'll continue here :)
Eloquence's rating on my parent post was done because he disagrees with the content of that post. Read this post for details.
This leads me to rate comments as follows: 5 if I agree completely, 4 if I agree except for some minor point, 3 if I agree with some parts or don't care much, 2 if I disagree with most of the content, 1 if I disagree with all of it. I think I have never used 0 to vote something down just because I disagree.
First things first: Eloquence, I think my post deserved a 2 under your system, unless you truly believe the 0 rating is being abused :)
More seriously, is the reason I don't like seeing posts rated low simply because the rater and poster disagree. I think it tends to cover up dissenting views in heated discussions. Of course, you can set your preferences to Oldest first. But the point is that a higher rated post tends to be seen by more people. Eloquence's post acknowledges this when he states:
The reason for this [rating dissenting posts down] is that I want the rating system to allow users to find valuable information quicker.
K5 is a forum for discussion. Information dissemination, in my opinion, is secondary. If someone posts and fabricates information (essentially lying), then I would rate that post down, dissenting opinion or not, with a few exceptions for humorous posts and such.
Rating down informative posts that present differing opinions detracts from discussion, though. A good discussion should include various viewpoints and allow people to hear all sides of a story. This helps us become more knowledgeable, and may even change peoples' minds. A debate in my mind is a good thing, as long as it is not just a mindless flamewar.
Fortunately this is a minor issue, since the rating system doesn't hide posts, except at the sub-1 level. That doesn't change my opinion of how posts should be rated, though.
Consider: with the post I linked above, I would've rated it high, even though I disagree with it, because it makes people think. It didn't change my mind but it could have. Eloquence, in my shoes, would have rated it down and been on his way.
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
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