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:: Saturday, July 12, 2003 ::

Ideas and Frustrations about Debate in the Blogosphere

It seems I am not the only one thinking about
the nature and place of ecumenical dialogue in the Christian blogosphere.
Here are some thoughts by other Christian bloggers about their fears, their expectations, and their perspectives:

Ben writes optimistically about Christian discussion because in his view "....debate and confrontation can only strengthen your beliefs. Either you will be wrong and be forced to accept the other side, or you will prevail, and your conviction will increase. In both cases you are closer to the truth then you were before."

AKMA wonders whether clergy should blog. He writes, "Not everyone has to be as hyperbolically careful about what they say as are some folks (I, for instance). But (a) we ought certainly to do the best we can, not giving ourselves a pass by blaming people who misunderstand us when we write ambiguous, poorly-composed, just plain wrong-headed stuff for public consumption; and (b) when we write casually, we ought to write in a full awareness that what we say can and will be used as evidence against us."

Ray, in his July 11th post, suggests we adopt a more formal, legal, and philosophical style of discussion.
He writes, "Traditionally styled debates are useful. They are especially useful when it is just as important how the debater performs as whether his position is right or not. But we would have to agree that in a religious debate, this is not the case. If we are to be honest then we must admit that the truth is the goal. This format would feel strange. It would be uncomfortable. But it would get at the truth more closely and expose the erroneous arguments more quickly."

Robert Williams, after a lengthy and emotional round of discussions, feels frustrated and wonders if fruitful debate is even possible. He writes, "It seems that even mildly controversial religious topics are not best discussed in print. I've seen many of them, in Yahoo clubs, mailing lists, and now blogs, quickly turn pretty nasty. Strangely, unbelievers seem to be quite capable of having civil disagreements online, from what I can tell. But Christians can't."

:: Karl :: 9:14:00 AM [Link] ::

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