The Good and the Bad News About Blogging

First the bad news. What annoys me about Blogging is that there are ignoramuses whose names aren't made public who get to act like equals with scholars and credentialed intellectuals. Imagine a written discussion before the rise of the internet. It took place in books, magazine articles, Op-Ed's, journals, and even in the Letters to Editor section of national and local newspapers. The discussion was monitored by editors, so not just anyone could engage in it, or if they did, what they wrote was considered worthy by an editor or peer reviewers to be printed. Discussions of these written works took place in the universities under the supervision of credentialed professors who chose which texts were important to discuss. There were also a lot of discussions in the halls of these universities and in the pubs and coffee shops of the world based on what these editors/reviewers/professors thought worthy for publication and discussion. The rise of Blogging has somehow changed this.

For now even ignorant people who are unaware that they are ignorant get to act like experts, get to freely comment along with the intellectuals on the same Blog post. So even though the ignoramuses don't understand what the problem is, they will pontificate a solution to us all. Therefore the intellectuals are forced to choose between ignoring them, or writing a primer on the problem fit for grade school in some cases. When it comes to the debates I engage in, the Christian ignoramuses don't trust what I have to say even if I were to write a primer on the problem. It takes someone on their own side whom they trust to write that primer, saying the same things I would say as to the nature of the problem.

Now for the good news. No longer can Christian scholars fail to deal with full integrity with the real arguments of the skeptical scholars and intellectuals. Before the rise of the internet Christians mostly read their own apologetical literature. They didn't concern themselves for the most part with what skeptics wrote. All they had to do was read the Christian apologist's responses to them in their Christian books and magazines and journals. But that is changing and it's a good thing. Nor more straw-men arguments. We will set them straight online. No more falsely miscaracterizing what we say. Now Christian scholars must deal head on with what we say or they will be taken to task for it. For when doing a search for an argument coming from William Lane Craig or Alvin Plantinga or Richard Swinburne, Christians will also find Blogs like Jerry Coyne's, Stephen Law's, the Secular Outpost's, Internet Infidels, mine, and a number of others.

Given the good and the bad, the good far outweighs the bad. It's just trying to figure out how to deal with the bad. ;-)


[Edit: A few people may be offended by my use of the word "ignoramuses." That they exist we can all testify to. Who are they? At the very minimum they are the people who could not write a Letter to the Editor and have it published prior to the rise of the internet. So many comments on Blogs would not pass this lowest standard. Generally speaking then, the ignoramuses typically exhibit an abysmal lack of knowledge or critical thinking skills. Trolls who personally attack people are among them. Their comments would never be approved by a newspaper editor either.