It is my observation that we live in an age where there is an increasing belligerence when discussing issues. The fact that so much argument takes place through typing at a keyboard may well be responsible for this. People can shield themselves from the consequences of their comments by hiding behind a computer screen. Furthermore, belligerence proliferates because people operate through anonymous names when interacting so aggressively on the computer.
We often notice as well, how people are unwilling to give detailed response to issues. Rather, people just regurgitate the accepted ideas of the day and pooh pooh any other perspective. Perhaps it is because in a TV age, people are not led to give detailed consideration to issues. Instead people just indolently receive information. And the outworking of this laziness of thought is seen in the observation that it is the soundbite which catches the attention.
But let me backtrack, what am I exactly thinking of here. It is those comments like “no-one believes that nowadays” or “you must be an idiot to hold those views”. Things along those lines. They are thrown out like bombs with no thought of the consequences. I had a little taste of this earlier in the month; see the comments with this post here.
So what we have is a situation where people no longer respectfully discuss issues. Rather they just chuck these comments out, almost like hand grenades.
One further thought on why these hand-grenades are thrown is that people really know that they do not have a strong argument anyway. Therefore they just bombastically declare their response. It reminds me of the preacher’s notes. In them he wrote at one point “argument weak; shout”
However, as Christians, we should carefully and respectfully interact with issues. We have a faith which is based on truth and wholly stands up to scrutiny. We have no need to descend into using vitriol and belligerence.