The ID debate takes place among a relatively small number people on the internet. I guess maybe there are 50 or so regular viewers of UD. Most threads have views around 300 views, which are not all unique. So why is time invested in these debates? Surely the UD and TSZ blogs aren’t reaching and extremely wide audience, and the other blogs and forums are relatively quiet. So why is there so much time spent in debate? I list here Mark Frank’s viewpoint and mine. Readers may offer their reasons.
Mark Frank in response to my query wrote:
Just noticed this from Sal
If its not too personal, and because I want to understand, not condemn, if you believe there is no God, why spend time debating ID proponents? For myself, if I believed there was no God, I’d probably be out there partying or something more enjoyable than the shouting matches on the net, spending time arguing with people (ID proponents and creationists) who are presumably deluded.
Good question! I often think I should spend time doing something more constructive but it is fun and slightly addictive. I find the arguments for ID intellectually interesting – much more so than the arguments for astrology. I am convinced they are faulty, but not obviously so, and it is interesting to understand why.
Also it is interesting to study online debate – how people behave in ways they would never contemplate were they face to face.
Finally there is an element among many IDists here I find slightly threatening and maybe I can contribute a little bit by publically confronting it from time to time. It is not actually to do with ID. I am concerned about the absolute certainty that many in this community have that their religion means that they know what is morally correct. In my view the very worst of the things to happen in this world have arisen from people who felt they had discovered some principle or other which means they know what is right. The principle is not necessarily religious – communism was another such principle, so was the French revolution. It is particularly dangerous when it is mixed with a fear that others are threatening that certainty. I absolutely don’t include you in this. You seem very able to think pragmatically and for yourself.
I am not very good at this. Lizzie is brilliant. Unfailingly polite, takes (almost) everyone seriously, – yet clear, logical and determined in making her case. Just by being a model debater I suspect she is winning over many lurkers.
If someone asked me why I spend time on the net arguing ID, it is in part because I’ve had doubt about its truthfulness. The process of debate has reassured me of some ideas, cast doubt on others, and falsified still others.
The net has been a public diary of my search for truth…
Right now, I find it personally difficult to think the universe and life were mindless accidents. I don’t think Darwinian evolution is true, and I don’t have reason to believe OOL will ever be solved.
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