Losing your cool on Facebook
From the IAmAnAtheist feedback form:
Hi! I randomly happened upon your website and blog, and was very pleased to find them. This site is excellent.
I must commend you, for you have much more patience than I do. At this very moment, I am engaged in several Facebook fights regarding gay marriage, birth control, and the Cordoba project. Most of my opponents know better than to offer religion as an argument, although our debates inevitably dissolve into fights about religion after awhile. Sadly, I am guilty of losing my temper and throwing around a few insults. But then again, a very wise atheist (I forget who) wrote that if no amount of evidence will change someone’s mind, then they aren’t really interested in the truth at all. I’m only paraphrasing, but there are times when I get the unpleasant impression that the people who I debate are simply not interested in finding out what is really true.
I think I need to apologize for having gone on a rant. I only meant to say that I adore your website, and thank you for maintaining it and trying to educate others. Although my own conversations seems futile at times, I continue to hope someone somewhere is having some kind of success, and that will only happen if each individual one of us keeps trying, no?
Peace and happiness, 109
Thanks to the Internet, even when you are arguing with someone who does not seem to be listening to what you are saying, you may be having a positive impact on people following your conversation. I’d say that’s a strong incentive to keep your temper as best you can.
Also, remember that some people have very little experience with atheists and may assume that you are typical. If they mistakenly see you as someone who can’t keep calm, they may miss what you are saying but get the impression that atheists are all just “ranters” who try to make up with volume what they lack in facts (I’ve heard people like Dawkins and Myers characterized in this way).
If you happen to come across a particularly interesting (or odd) argument in your battles on Facebook, feel free to forward it to me so I can share it with my readers and maybe add some comments of my own. If you had a particularly good response, I’d love to hear that, too.
Finally, thank you for all the kind words — they are fine food for my ego!