And second, while I understand the necessity of negative reinforcement, something that's too negative or done too frequently can cause more problems than it solves. I mean, someone who gets pissed off isn't going to be thinking about the other person maybe having a point and they're going to be much less likely to even consider things that person says in the future. And as for others profiting from the example, that doesn't work well unless they're actually around or able to see it, especially on a forum like this - and most of the people who are in that position aren't in need of the example to begin with.
it doesn't take too long to recognize the "voice" of a post that is looking for an honest exchange of ideas and the "voice" of a post that functions to correct another opinion. When the argument presented is foolish and emotionally laden (which I've seen used mostly in a condescending way), the responses are likely to reflect the expectation of a certain pattern. That pattern is expected to take a lot of time and effort to show minute details to connect dots that most people beyond 5th grade ought to be able to connect naturally. The time and effort is usually not worth it and so a quick, cut-to-the-chaise response gets the point across when a longer dialog tends to be derailed uselessly.
Finally, with the predominance of the expectation that theists ought to be regarded with kids gloves revolving the topic of religion, I for one find it valuable to know there is a place where the concepts can be discussed without having to protect delicate feelings of one who doesn't like to see a negative reaction to a deeply held belief.
Thank you all for a delightful, intelligent, and polite thread. After reading it, I feel as good about human beings as I have since 2010. ( I got sick, which put me in a really foul mood.)
Especial thanks to Jaim and Velk for an example of two people really listening to each other.
I have a problem being simultaneously Sokratic and polite. I like to throw stones in still waters, in babbling brooks, and at glass houses. (The walls of my own house were shattered long ago.)
I ridicule on certain occasions. More commonly I am assumed to be ridiculing sometimes when I crack a joke. But, I find the world ridiculous, so ridicule is a large component of my humor.
There is a substantial difference between ridiculing ideas and individuals tho.
I sometimes refrain from ridiculing a particular part of a person's statement because I admire some other part, and am therefore friendly, and do not want to risk the ridicule being taken personally.
When a person, atheist, Christian, or other, displays simple close mindedness, the ridicule sharpens.
When a person ignores or twists my statements, or attacks me, we leave politeness behind entirely.
When a person indicates they believe I should be killed for being some kind of pinko faggot, I remind myself that killing them as a prophylactic is dangerous and illegal, as well as inconvenient and unpleasant. Since I have no real hope of changing such minds, and I can't kill them, I ridicule them to vent and amuse others. (You should see what I wrote on the Pakistani Defense Forum's thread about how wonderful the Pak blasphemy laws are.)
Here is the link to the threadhttp://www.defence.pk/forums/current-events-social-issues/116132-man-sentenced-death-blasphemy.html
Here is my first post on that thread, # 34
"This thread, and the justifications of the actions offered, make me ashamed to be a member of the human race, and tempt me to say disrespectful things about the whole pack of mad misogynistic monotheism mongering mullahs from Moses to the Mormons, but at great effort I refrain.
I repeat, you make me ashamed to be human."
If, in the future, any of you feel I have violated good manners or have launched an ad hominem attack not authorized by my own rules, please bring it to my attention.
I am now going to see what happened on that thread since I last looked in. If I wind up shamed again at being human, I thank you again for the moments of pleasure at the prospect you have given me.