To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Belligerence in Discussions

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.

Comments on: "Belligerence in Discussions" (2)

  1. Dear Philip,

    I did chuck that “Na na-ni na Na” comment out like a hand grenade.

    However, I am willing to give detailed consideration to issues. My page Gay Christians goes over the bible texts in depth. My tag “Marriage” shows I have dealt with equal marriage from different perspectives.

    “Belligerence and aggression?” I want you to hear me. I want to get through to you. I have no respect for the opinions in your post “A sad day” but “Na na-ni na Na” is deliberately childish, mocking, even playful rather than aggressive. When you asked me what I meant, I responded in kind. You claim that Equal marriage is one of the saddest days in our recent history, turning away from God. No, it isn’t. It marks the increasing liberation of an oppressed group. As is written in the Book of Isaiah,

    Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?

    Part of the problem is that your first post was incoherent. “Children are now to be brought up with elastic definitions of what motherhood and fatherhood is” is too silly to respond to, but in brief, children have always had different experiences of parents, because all people are different.

    Sometimes debate on the web is moderate, respectful and cogent, sometimes it consists of abusive sound-bites, but I found your post “A sad day” to be the latter, not the former.

  2. Dear Clare

    I do not deny you may have made coherent arguments elsewhere. However, in this instance, in interesting with my post, you did not present any of those arguments. You just acted belligerently. I have seen this so many times online, particularly in comments to an article.

    God never frees people to go in the way of sin. He always free people for righteousness. It is marvelous that God frees people. i am a freed person and it is wonderful. Gay marriage is essentially a sinful phenomenon. Nobody is truly freed by entering it.

    If you think my post is incoherent. I suggest the the best courses are to either ignore it or respond with a reasoned case against it.

    Of course there are reasonable arguments / discussions online, but I have seen too much of the other. And that is what I am addressing

    Yours respectfully (!)

    Philip

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