New Article: 5 Tips for Engaging in Online Debate

Today’s new article gives tips for moving past the “dumpster fires” of online debate and lead discussions down the right path.


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I found the article quite interesting.

Assume the role of an educator: I’m right, you’re wrong, but I will try to educate you instead of just abusing you. Of course the people on both sides often think they’re right and the aim is to bring the other around to your view. But you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Send materials that your partner is likely to trust and actually use: A good point although what you think is “religiously neutral” might not be viewed as such by your partner, e.g. NCSE. You also need to make sure you don’t commit the genetic fallacy yourself.

Have a guilt-free exit plan:

I recently had a to end a conversation like this:

“It’s been great chatting with you about this but, as I’m sure is also true for you, the conversation has been cutting into my schedule a bit too deep. In closing I’d just like to recommend this article “40 years of invitro evolution”, it summarizes the discovery that biological evolution can take place in systems that are far simpler than modern living cells.

I.e. Leave with a Parthian Shot, and by the way, abiogenesis is part of evolution.


I see what you did there! …cough, cough, no it’s not, cough cough. :sneezing_face:

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Points for the Parthian shot reference.

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Apparently Jon Perry, the author of the article “5 Tips …”, thinks that it is.
Although possibly Jon gave an out of context example.

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Evolution in Minutes by Dr. Darren Naish

I’ve just downloaded a Kindle version of this.

I’m not much interested in debate in general but I do appreciate civil discussion with people who are not compulsively mean or stubbornly sharpening the same axe no matter what the topic. This is the best moderated website I’ve encountered. I think one of the reasons it succeeds is you can make being gracious a rule on a Christian website without a lot of whining about losing your freedom of speech. Having started my online forum experience on atheist websites I appreciate that. To the credit of the forum’s founders and moderators, there is not excessive censoring going on beyond that necessary to maintain the gracious standard called for in the rules. Certainly the reception an atheist gets here is night and day better than that given to believers on your typical atheist site. It was frustrating trying to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with theists in that kind of environment.


Well - it [abiogenesis] certainly does get lumped in by association in the popular press and is part of a larger “principle” of Evolutionism as a philosophy (which I realize is the only perception of evolution that some will acknowledge). Words are nothing if not malleable.

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Good article. I also like this one…Byas notes he can learn something from everyone he talks with.

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I think you were the first one to steer me to something by Enns, @Randy. Thanks, I like him. I wish a transcript for this podcast were available.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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