I know that when I find certain pieces of content online, it is a lot more fun to skip the article and go right to the comments. Sure, the article may have valuable pieces of information, but the comments seem to be where people really get down to the heart of the issue. Ideally, journalists are objective. Ideally, they present the facts and let you form your own opinion based on a fair and balanced evaluation of the information around the story.
That is why comments are more interesting. Those ideals of objectivity never even existed for these writers to violate. Commenters do not need to hold back their opinions. They have opinions and do not need to worry about being unbiased. I can use the comments to hear opinions from both sides of an issue and can perhaps gain a more comprehensive picture of why people disagree on something.
Unfortunately, I feel like this privilege of commenting is too often abused. Yes, as an Internet commenter, I can certainly get on my soapbox and say whatever I want about an issue. I can do it anonymously and make as many bombastic points and personal attacks as I want because I am just another username and avatar.
The problem with that is that there is a thing called logic. There is a way to present your points in such a way that by using basic reasoning, people will see the rationality behind your point. Let me give you a basic example that is used in every introductory logic class.
1. All men are mortal.
2. Socrates is a man.
3. Therefore Socrates is mortal.
It doesn’t take anything special to be able to follow this thought process and to understand that it is true. For some arguments, you might need to provide evidence for your initial assertions, but at the end of the day, arguments you make should flow as simply as this one does. The conclusion should flow from the premises.
Why do I bother writing this here?
As apologists, we write controversial things. I am sure that you all have received some comments that really didn’t need to be written. They essentially boil down to name-calling. That is not logic, and that is not going to convince anybody to want to view an issue in any particular way. All it does is build walls.
We need to make sure that we never respond in kind. No matter what people say to us, we are ambassadors of God.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Mat 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We need to let our light shine to help lead people towards Jesus. Part of that is how we handle ourselves in conversations. Respect and logical argumentation go a long way to helping that happen. I know that it might be hard, but we need to remember that we are called to represent God.
I have to admit that I don’t see a problem with this on this particular website, but I ultimately wanted to write this as a reminder so that we remain focused on bringing people towards God rather than driving them away through our conduct.