Thursday, December 22, 2005

Why do atheists have to be so obnoxious?

I am constantly frustrated by atheists who write beautiful and lucid expositions and then completely undermine their arguments by being obnoxious. I can certainly understand the temptation to descend into name-calling (e.g. "Our Christian enthusiasts are evidently too stupid, as well as too insecure, to...") but it serves no purpose. I was going to paraphrase what came after the elipsis, but it hardly matters. No one but the already (un)converted is going to read past that phrase.

I have the same problem with U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III's blistering rebuke of Intelligent Design in the Dover, Pennsylvania case. Obivously I agree with his decision, but did he have to use the phrase "breathtaking inanity" to describe the ID position? The only effect it will have is to convince the ID proponents that Jones was prejudiced against them and they need to redouble their efforts.

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