Screwtape, StarStuff, Azd,
It pains me to see three people, all of whom I like and respect, get so bogged down in such a heated argument.
So I'd like to help. I've reread the thread, I can see where it goes wrong.
To start with the conclusion: my considered opinion is that all of you have something to apologize for.
As does L6, who initiated the temperature increase on page 1 by describing all the people he disagreed with as "spineless cowards". That kind of language isn't conducive to reasoned discussion.
StarStuff, I think this where you should have done things differently. I'm speculating that when L6 called your little sister a spineless coward you reacted emotionally to that, because you know it's not true and you understandably went to her defence. We all also need to factor in that L6 had also unknowingly called you a spineless coward.
So that was the moment you should have revealed, because with hindsight, the more you got involved in the discussion while maintaining the pretence, the more it would become inevitable that you reveal it.
Screwtape, Azd. I've already made my position clear regarding the general principle of StarStuff and NOTF concealing their siblinghood. It's normal behaviour, other people do it, it does not reflect badly on them or impugn their integrity.
But that's what you did, Screwtape. You immediately questioned StarStuff's character in the strongest terms. You spoke of him 'betraying the community'. Not in my opinion. If you personally felt hurt and betrayed, that ratchets up the temperature a few more degrees.
So StarStuff reads your accusations, and now he's feeling hurt. He's a proud man, you're insulting him to the core, unfairly, so he replies angrily. The temperature rises again.
You suggest SS should be put in the ER. Another insult.
No need to analyze the rest of it. It just gets hotter. You played a large part in it, Screwtape, by exaggerrating StarStuff's crime in the first place. As NOTF said, you blew it out of proportion, and the thread went rapidly downhill from there.
Azd, I'm not sure to what extent you condemn StarStuff and NOTF for concealing their relationship. Your main accusation of intellectual dishonesty on StarStuff's part seems to rest on what was said after the temperature went through the roof. If this is so, perhaps we could look at the wider picture, the fact that StarStuff is a widely respected longtime member of this forum, and his honesty and integrity are not seriously in question. If you could find a way to acknowledge that, he may acknowledge that he said things in the heat of the moment which might have been better phrased - because he was hurt, and angry.
Screwtape, Azd, one final observation - correct me if I'm wrong, but all the blame for StarStuff and NOTF concealing their relationship fell on to StarStuff. NOTF didn't get criticized for it at all, even though it was obviously a shared decision. What does that signify to you?
This whole thing is a storm in a teacup.
If we turn off the heat, and say sorry for our parts in it, we could be friends again.
For my part, I apologize if any of you are offended by this post. Nobody likes being advised to say sorry and shake hands. So ignore me if you want to.
PS Screwtape, just seen your post. It doesn't really change my thoughts about this, so I'll let this post stand as it is.