Effectiveness of Ridicule and New Atheism

I’m not talking about here. I’m talking about just in life, generally.

Has ridiculing people, being hostile and rude to people ever made you happier and more satisfied? :thinking:


Yes. Performing valuable services to better my community usually does.

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Interesting. Have you personally ever tried being more polite and less abrasive to people in discussions?

Have you stopped beating your girlfriend yet?

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Are you trying to point out a Loaded Question Fallacy or just being snarky?

My understanding is that @Faizal_Ali acknowledges his generally aggressive attitude towards Creationism and creationists (let us know @Faizal_Ali if that’s not the case) and sees it as a proper response, so I’d think that would make @dga471’s question a legitimate one.


Nothing slips by you, does it? :wink:

Sure, all the time. I enjoy that, too. Not everyone deserves it, though.

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I try it sometimes. It doesn’t seem to work. @swamidass keeps trying it. Achieving sweet bugger all in the process, for all I can see.

(But, yes, you are understanding me correctly,)

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Do you think your aggressive attitude has given more positive results than Josh’s more diplomatic one? (Note that diplomacy and politeness doesn’t mean “teaching the controversy”, pretending that all points of view are equally valid, or anything like that.)

I think a more open-minded and diplomatic attitude has clearly borne out results in this forum. See, for example, Welcome to Terrell Clemmons: Questions on Methodological Naturalism, which has become a very long and (somewhat) substantial conversation, as most of the participants are fairly diplomatic.


Yes. Of course, I’m not sure whether we have the same understanding of what comprises “positive results.”

Has it persuaded any creationists to accept evolution?

What is your definition of positive results?

It certainly seems to have given @terrellclemmons a lot of exposure to the views of Christians who affirm evolution, while previously she mostly interacted with ID. It will give TE/ECs a fairer hearing in Christian circles. The reason why ID thrives in some circles is that some Christians think it’s the only option for maintaining their faith.

Josh just now reported that he spoke at a youth conference where many came from YEC families (Jesus, Segregation, and a West County Church in STL) - just one of the several conservative Christian conferences he has been allowed to speak at. Did you miss those? See, e.g. Daniel Deen and Joel Oesch: The Lutheran Voice and Crosswise Institute and also
Jeremy Smith: I Disagree with Dr. Swamidass. According to Josh, several students expressed this was the first time they heard a Christian who affirmed evolution speak. This is gradually removing the specter of evolution as a bogeyman in these communities. I would bet that a larger percentage of these children will grow up accepting the evidence for evolution as adults.

Do you not understand that none of this would be even conceivable if people aggressively denounced and made fun of YECs at every turn? Insult and aggression results in degradation of trust, no matter how good your arguments are.

Look here for a more secular example: a single man convinced 200 KKK members to leave the organization. By befriending them, not attacking them (although many would say they certainly deserved to be attacked and ridiculed).


Great example! So if we were just nicer to the KKK when they were riding around lynching people, things would have worked out so much better. Too bad no one thought of that sooner.

I DID NOT say that we should allow the KKK to lynch people, @Faizal_Ali. Don’t put words in my mouth.

Do you think Daryl Davis was a fool then?

By the way, I expect you not to latch on the KKK example, but also respond to what Josh has accomplished through diplomacy.


I didn’t think or claim that you had.

So you do understand that just being nice is not the only approach that is effective or necessary.

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I do understand the value of stopping and preventing physical violence and active harm being done by malicious organizations. But ID and YEC organizations do not commit violence, as far as I know.

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No, they don’t. But their actions should be met with appropriate counteractions. e.g. When they tried to legislatively force creationism onto school curricula in Dover, PA, it was appropriate IMHO to take them to court, rather than just trying to be really, really nice to them and hoping they’d change their mind.


I’m not talking about Dover. Being “nice” doesn’t mean avoiding legal action when necessary. Instead, I’m talking about dialogue with creationists in spaces like these. What do you accomplish here by being aggressive? I’m sure you’re winning the approval of some fellow anti-creationists. But I’m not sure you’re winning over people who are undecided or new to the field.


Why not listen and consider when a good point is made, rather than immediately stooping to scornful ridicule that is clearly not responsive to what was actually said?