As everyone has probably noticed by now, I am way behind on reading comments, let alone responding to and/or policing them (other than the automatic spam filters, of course). I would greatly appreciate it, therefore, if commenters would try to police themselves.

I strongly encourage the expression of sincerely-held beliefs and ideas, even if wrong, so that they may be discussed and critiqued. I strongly encourage thoughtful critiques of any and all beliefs and ideas so presented. I strongly encourage tolerance of the manner in which these ideas might be presented, since not everyone is a skillful writer (and those that are, haven’t always had their morning coffee yet).

I strongly discourage discussion of the character, abilities, motives, or personal ancestry of individual commenters, as tempting as such comments may be at times. I discourage the posting of comments that make frequent use of the pronoun “you,” as in “you always…” or “you never…” or “you are just so…”, when directed at a specific individual.

Please think before posting. My goal is to address the ideas themselves, and to demonstrate which ideas are most consistent with real-world truth. Personal attacks are a distraction (and indeed, one way to defend a weak idea is to present it as offensively as possible, in order to side-track the discussion into a mere flame war, and thus protect the bad idea from direct analysis).

It is not necessary to win any one argument. Truth is consistent with itself; the evangelical realist need only persist in directing people’s attention to the truth, and over the long term the burden of maintaining a falsehood will weigh more heavily on the untruthful person. We ought to have the confidence of our convictions, and rise above personal foibles. And if we have guests whose thinking is misguided, we should welcome and encourage them, because where else are they going to go for better guidance?

I know that I myself am not as good at that as I should be (Challenger Grim comes to mind—I really regret losing him). But I originally named this blog Evangelical Realism because I saw a need for a place where realists could reach out to the misguided, and encourage them to adopt a better world view (to borrow an oft-misused term). I want to show how the ideas of realism make more sense and are more consistent with real-world truth than fantasies, intuitions, superstitions and hearsay are, and how realism actually improves one’s quality of life.

I could do better. We all could do better. I invite everyone to join me in trying.

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5 Responses to “Comments”

  1. David D.G. Says:

    Nicely put, and quite exemplary. Considering the persistence of some commenters here, DD, you must have the patience of a sai—uh, of a very patient person. ;^D

    ~David D.G.

  2. jim Says:


    I drafted a rather lengthy reply to this post, but decided I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire, and also to respect your request to ‘cut it out’. Still, I think my comments are pertinent to the situation, and so I’ve posted it here.. I hope I haven’t been overly rancorous, but I just wanted to clear the air from my end. It’s all I’ll say on the matter.

  3. Deacon Duncan Says:

    I just want to add that I do make one exception to my general policy on the kind of comments I’m looking for. Ironically, it’s taken from the example of Jesus, who denounced the Pharisees quite virulently in public, yet spoke politely to Nicodemus (a prominent Pharisee) in private conversation.

    The exception is this: when someone sets themselves up as a spiritual leader and/or teacher, they fall under a stricter standard, and are subject to harsher criticisms. Somebody like Drs. Geisler and Turek, therefore, deserve to be exposed and even ridiculed a bit for leading people astray with such poor and disingenuous arguments. (Though I would encourage polite-yet-firm exchanges should either of these two men show up here in person, since that would be a more personal interaction.)

    The bottom line, however, is that I discourage personal attacks not so much because of courtesy, but because they distract attention from the real issues, and perpetuate the misunderstandings that keep religious errors thriving. The courtesy side of things is an added bonus, too, but I’m thinking about the long-term impact.

  4. cl Says:

    I discourage personal attacks not so much because of courtesy, but because they distract attention from the real issues,


  5. cl Says:

    Moved to the forums.