Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Curious Behavior of NAs

TT commenter John A. Designer wrote the following comment:

The thing I like about Ruse is that he believes in using persuasion in his arguments rather than coercion. Persuasion means finding common ground, using good logic and reason to craft and refine your arguments. The so called new atheists, on the other hand, aren’t interested in finding common ground or making carefully reasoned arguments. Their main weapons in public discourse are stereotypes and ridicule. But, as David Heddle pointed out on another thread they are doing little more than preaching to their own choir.

So I wonder is that how these people became atheists? They were subjected to so much ridicule that they eventually saw the true enlightened answer? Does ridicule ever work?

Of course, the problem with persuasion is that it is hard rather than easy. It means that you have to actually think about what you say and believe and listen to the other side.


Motives for unpersuasive tactics are curious. Surely hostility is part of this. Simple venting explains much New Atheist behavior. Listening to the other side and hostility tend to be mutually exclusive.

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