Give Minority Viewpoints Some Breathing Space?

And too much of that detracts from the value here. If someone doesn’t want to learn or have dialog, they just want to rant, if they make their point and get done with it, it’s tolerable, I guess. But it tends to go on and on.

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Perhaps dialogue will be more productive if we act more politely, even if we don’t think they deserve it.

Politeness has been tried with the ID creationists for over 20 years. It has made no difference. They’re still pumping out their antiscientific propaganda.

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Sometimes the audience isn’t just your debate opponents. It’s people on the sidelines, including laypeople who don’t know who to trust. One can be firm, yet charitable.

Certainly, even in this forum, I have grown a lot by trying hard to hold myself back and trying to move the conversations forward in a productive, as opposed to abrasive, manner.

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I got to thinking - what a great way to meet a whole bunch of new people, make a whole lot of new friends, in a hurry. :grinning:

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Agreed.

Imagine you’re sitting in a lecture hall, listening to a debate about a subject you only have a layperson’s understanding of. The first lecturer takes the stage and starts talking about his ideas, which, he quickly acknowledges, are in opposition to the consensus view. You’re a little skeptical at first, thinking that the experts in the field should surely be trusted. But his points make intuitive sense, and you start wondering if he might be on to something after all.

Next his opponent takes the stage. He goes completely PZ Myers on his opponent, accusing him of ignorance and dishonesty. Redfaced, he pounds the table, shouting “Let me spell it out: Anti! Scientific! Pro! Pa! Ganda!”

He may think that he’s insulted his opponent, but really, he’s insulted every layperson in the audience who thought there was merit to what the first guy was saying.

How many do you think will listen to whatever may follow this tirade with a sympathetic ear?

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This is good advice. The hard part is trying to hold back.

It might be helpful if an ID/creationist supporter was allowed to pick a few people to have a discussion with and have a thread where just those people were allowed to discuss a topic. Of course, a commentary thread would probably start and go off the rails.

I know @swamidass hates memes, but it helps to remember the psychology of the internet:

duty_calls

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It’s called the private message system. :wink: Unfortunately, the discussion is then invisible to the vast majority of the readers on the forum.

(P.S: I like the idea, though!)

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Cue in the bar scene from the Star Wars movie.

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That sounds like a really good idea. :slight_smile:

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I foresee some hurt feelings … :sob:

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Please remember that conversations take place with and between individuals. When you shame an individual, you don’t win them over, and you never do anything to change the organizations that control the messages to the public (the propaganda.) It is always the best course of action to kindly and peaceably convey your points, because, unlike those organizations, the individuals following them can be affected by cogent thoughts properly presented.

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This is always allowed, and encouraged.

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I don’t think anyone is advocating merely politeness.

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I’m advocating overt ridicule, hostility and rudeness. :slight_smile:

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Yeah I don’t think this is in line with our goals here :roll_eyes:

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I hate memes but xkcd is welcome, and not a meme.

36 posts were split to a new topic: Effectiveness of Ridicule and New Atheism

17 posts were split to a new topic: Edgar & Timothy Discuss ID

@Timothy_Horton, at this point I think you’ve made yourself clear, repeatedly, I don’t think you need to continue to in this thread.

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@Timothy_Horton, @Edgar_Tamarian, please get off this thread if you want to continue your debate. I will be flagging all posts which are off-topic from now on.

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