Inevitably, I get frustrated by posts that tag the opposite side of whatever debate they are participating in but disable comments. It seems as if a discussion was being sought, but maybe all that is wanted is an echo chamber. I feel obliged to respond to these somehow, not really in any hope of changing the poster’s mind, but in the hope of presenting both sides of an argument for others that might be open to such.

One of the most common places I have been seeing this is in #atheism posts, often from the theistic side of the debate. I find it a bit odd to post something antagonistic of atheists and then tag the post in such a way as to make sure they see it but then not want to talk to anyone. Maybe it is something like the exercise of shouting into the wind or yelling at other motorists through your closed windows. The shouter might want someone to hear them a little but not so much as to illicit a response, not so much that someone gets angry at them. It might come down to not wanting to be removed from a space where you think your opinion is valid and useful. It might come from not wanting to be chastised, which is understandable with how the internet often behaves.

To get to the heart of the issue, I am bothered by this because I have seen a trend of discourse-refusal on the rise. A common response to argument now is to say “I do not have to explain my beliefs to anyone,” whether what the person is debating is science, opinion, religion, or otherwise. It worries me a bit because talking to people that believe other that we do is healthy and helpful. It might be uncomfortable, but learning often is.

So, if you find yourself with the want to just dismiss an argument, make sure to take a good look at why.


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