Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why hit and run?

Lately, when I have a chance to debate theists, they have been doing what is known as a hit-and-run. We have a casual conversation, no mud-slinging or ad-hominem attacks and then they say something really asinine and split. Of course you likely have surmised that I have had these debates electronically.

Case in point: In real life I'm sort of a pseudo celebrity in that there are a lot of people who know who I am from my media companies. One of my media adventures is a popular podcast (it's not about atheism). But every once in a while a topic will come up where my worldview is expressed. I don't actually mention being an atheist, but it's clear I'm not happy with religion or theism.

Recently, a listener contacted our show to express his disappointment in my (and my co-host's) point of view, and he rattled off a bunch of theistic mumbo-jumbo. I made sure not to apologize to this guy and thanked him for his patronage and if he felt he couldn't listen to the show anymore that I would understand. He replied with a very cordial email, stating we were very classy for replying and taking the time to deal with him, etc. Eventually we ended up having a back-and-forth conversation about his worldview and mine. We debated a bit and he admitted he wasn't in my league when it came to addressing such things. I said that was fine, I'm just glad he was going to remain a listener and not be offended. But in the end, he made some ridiculous points, said I was making all atheists look bad and would be crushed by William Lane Craig in a debate and that I'd be chicken shit to debate him, etc.

So I replied and my email came back undeliverable. I wondered at first if he blocked me so I tried to email him with my personal email and it turned out he literally closed his email account. So I can only imagine he created this account for the sole purpose of contacting our show with a boatload of insults, never envisioning we would respond and actually have a conversation. (I may post our exchange on here soon.)

A week or two later, I was on Omegle chatting with another theist and we had a real pleasant debate for about 30 minutes. We started to discuss morality (absolute, subjective and objective) and it was completely cordial. Then he went on this long diatribe, made some easily refutable points and then disconnected. So I couldn't reply and I never saved the conversation so I can't post it.

I have a hypothesis as to why they are doing this. It's a virtual version of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming "La la la la! Can't hear you! La la la!" They get in too deep with the conversation, they don't like what they are hearing (maybe it's causing them to rethink their faith?) and they throw in an insult or two and then split without having to deal with the repercussions of making said statements.

It is frustrating because I'm being cordial, taking the high road and I'm getting taken advantage of in the process. I would be a rude ass except that would just cement in their minds that atheists are evil baby eaters or whatever. Oh well.

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