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Old 11-17-2009, 07:57 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: The Crackpot Invitational

Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
Am I the only commenter who is a bit less than enthused with topics, like Young Earth creationism or denial, that practically invite deniers and creationists, et all, to post? I believe in reasonable inquiry and discussion, but I also doubt the good faith of those who appear on the Boards suddenly and disappear just as quickly. I'm sure someone will exploit my ruminations against me, but there are those here I trust to poke holes in my worthless rants, and those I don't. I enjoy surfing links or googling, but lately I've just been googling some worthless crap just so I don't lend some troll a gap through which to drive a wedge. I accept that knowledge is fallible, but some are here just to settle scores.

Is anyone else feeling this way?
I don't think that someone coming here because he or she is attracted by a single topic is necessarily operating in bad faith, no matter what that single topic is.

I do grant that creationists, and denialists of various stripes, tend to be disproportionally likely to argue this way, say, when trying to make the case that their views are "just as scientific," but I would not like to prejudge. People can, in good faith, be driven by faith, in other words.

I think also, from the point of view of running a site, it's always a good thing to try to attract people with different tastes. Who knows? Maybe someone comes here only because of a single reason, but gets interested in other things. That's more eyeballs at minimum, and potentially a new and interesting voice on other topics.

There is also the possibility of a given new visitor learning something from interacting with those outside of his or her usual bubble. And one more: others might find that person's manner instructive, perhaps especially so precisely when they see the sort of bad faith arguing techniques that are so often employed by creationists and denialists.

However, I'm dubious that these views, as they tend to be presented by the most prominent spokespeople, deserve to be treated as "just as good," at this point, so it does get a little tricky to imagine how to stage diavlogs responsibly that would attract such visitors in the first place.
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