In brief to reply:
I suppose as I have worked this all out, I’ve found that the debate “circle” or “arena” or whatever you want to call it can sometime prove immensely detrimental to the entire process of genial discourse (and as I would and have also argued, constructive discourse). Really, it’s shocking to go back and read what one actually says to people.
That being said, it was fun, and interesting, going back and read stuff from almost a year ago. Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely a lot of back and forth that was really good, but also a lot that was ultimately unhelpful. I would never consider the topics dead, but sometimes “necromancing” from older topics can prove to be better suited with a fresh approach, namely because their key points and ideas usually have become “mudded over” with hyperbolic emotions and grandiose rabbit trails. You could actually probably test this, and put a page number on it, i.e. whenever the thread reaches “x” amount of pages, the main points and/or theme of the thread has been lost or changed. I think that this is truly the fate of online message boards, but I do come back to them with the voracity of one who has a distinctly sublime appreciation for new thoughts and ideas.
Yes, I do see that NTS said he would never come back, but I believe that one can return with new approaches. What I had removed myself from was the insurmountability of the self-inflicted tasks I had presented myself with. For example, who in their right mind starts a post which asks non-theists to post ever contradiction in the Bible, and does so with any hope of address the flood of responses (in case anyone is wondering, that was me)? It’s simply not feasible, or ultimately, helpful. Suffice it to say it will never be attempted again in that capacity.
So what is helpful? I feel like I’ve touched on this before (in fact I know I have somewhere), and what I found is that in this type of arena, it is better to simply state your beliefs as clearly and consistently as possible, and make no subsequent attempt to push them onto others. Have I done this perfectly? No, obviously no.
On a somewhat related note, I think it’s also important to understand one’s own limitations, and being that I am a living and breathing person, my goal is not to “live in a virtual world”. I mean, I could easily compare my time spent here with the time one might spend playing WOW (which I don’t play, so don’t ask), and ultimately through this, even the “pursuit of knowledge” (or whatever you may call the endeavors of this board) can prove unhealthy. Is pursuing knowledge unhealthy? Absolutely not, but I think that it’s just as important to do so with people “in the flesh” (there are a lot of people here who need a vacation from the virtual world, just saying, "old places, old faces"). I believe that doing this is not only beneficial for the pursuit itself, but perhaps better for the mind and the emotions in general. Like I’ve noted before, there are many things said on these boards that would never been said in person or public out of respect for the individual. In other words, the art of polite exchange is being lost. I believe that boards like this have a tendency to breed bitterness, and a bitterness, when investigated, which really bares no substance beyond an offhanded remark of vicious ad hominem. Words do bear a great deal of power. Indeed, “the tongue has the power of life and death,” and how we use them is very important.
So, in a personal apologetic of sorts, I would say that I will be careful in how I proceed. I really enjoy posting things of interest, and presenting personal opinions on matters, but I have not returned brandishing a sword. I find personal vendettas much too time consuming line breaks added