In a comment to my prior post “AnimatedDust” writes:
Fascinating discussion. I have spent hours reading it. However, it seems to me that A_B [i.e., “Acartia_bogartis’ is] assuming the position of a superior tennis player who stands at the center of the baseline and by his superior play is causing all of the UD heavy hitters to have to run all over the court.
Of all the substantive arguments that you make, he disregards them at his pleasure and hits the ball to yet another corner, and you willingly respond and dutifully hit it back.
You seem oblivious to the fact that he cares nothing about your substantive answers and is merely here for his own facile amusement. His targets constantly move– his objections constantly change. He is unconvinced at all because he is after all, your garden-variety atheist who believes himself at this moment in time to be intellectually superior to the lot of you.
Why do you keep playing tennis? . . . you all run, breathlessly, hitting the ball right back at them, waiting for them to come up with another question the send you breathlessly running after it. Give an atheist a thousand reasons for the existence of God he will demand 1001. It never ends. When will you figure that out?
AD, you raise a fair point, one which I have pondered several times. Why bother? And the answer is this: We know we will never convence A_B and his ilk. We do not play for their sake. We play for the folks in the stands, as it were. Tens of thousands of people visit this site every month. Only a tiny fraction of them participate in the combox discussions, but many of them watch the debate with interest. There is even internet jargon for those folks – lurkers.
In summary, we play for the lurkers, and they – not A_B and his fellow travelers – are the ultimate beneficiaries when we knock the atheists’ arguments out of the park again and again.