A Plea for Rationality
As a moderate Christian, I have debated against both atheists and Christians. I've never preached, as I believe that we all have to make our own path in life, and that God is more concerned with how we deal with each other than in our metaphysical idealogy. So I've always tried to restrict my comments to the evidence at hand. And if the evidence at hand is against either Christians or atheists, then it needs to be pointed out.
As some of you know, my main concern is the misinformation that gets copied uncritically from website to website. Too many websites have an unspoken agenda, where certain claims rarely get challenged.
A case in point is a board like the Infidelguy board, which I have described as a "fundy atheist" board (for reasons I won't go into here). Now, there are certain claims that get posted on the board which others know aren't true -- like "there is a Beddru of Japan" or a "crucified Mithras" or "there are heaps of saviours born of a virgin on 25 Dec" -- but the claims are rarely questioned on the board. Indeed, some atheists appear afraid to question them, since it generally brings out the scorn of the more dogmatic atheist.
I would really hate to see this happen on this new board. The RationalResponders have the opportunity of being one of the few objective boards on this topic, and it would be a shame to waste the opportunity of building a true "Rational" reputation.
That's not to say that the RR can't have a clearly defined agenda that focuses on religious irrational claims (which to be honest is most of them). But it would be a shame to bend over backwards to accommodate someone like Luigi Cascioli or Brian Flemming if you believe that he may be incorrect on one or more points simply because he is "on the same side" of the religious divide. Similarly on other topics like politics: it would be a shame to tolerate conspiracy theorists and other whackos simply because they come from the same side of the political divide.
Thus, my plea for Rationality: by all means expose the irrational. But do so on the grounds of rationality first rather than religion, politics or idealogy. And if you are going to support someone's views, then own them, i.e. make sure that you have looked into them for yourselves. Otherwise this will become just another "Infidelguy" board or conspiracy-nut board.
"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown