Recently I got into a friendly debate on a friends blog. The subject was the use of tasers on teenagers. My position was - well, it doesn't matter - and I don't know where the concenus fell, as I gave up on it. There was one individual in the debate who just couldn't see other people's point.
Then I realized that person was me.
Thanks to the Internet, and the proliferation of social networking sites and blogs, everyone can share their point of view with everyone. And everyone can else can share their point of view by commenting, and so on and so forth. It seems that no matter what your opinion is, there is someone out there who disagrees. No matter what you beleive, there is someone who will tell you that you are wrong.
Should everyone just log off and not talk about these things anymore? No. Is it ok to share your point of view and engage in friendly debate on a topic of your chosing? Sure. But should you hold your opinions so tightly that you don't even bother to read other people's point of view before you counter it? No. If it's a topic that you know a lot about, go ahead, make your point intellegently. If you don't, then stay out of it. If all you're going to do is argue, then don't bother.
And I fell in into that trap. I got caught up in a discussion that I really hadn't done my homework on. I had my opinions, yes, but those opinions weren't based on any research or experience, only on hear-say. So I shared my opinions, and I argued my opinions, and I stood by my opinions. All the time, failing to realize I was ignoring the other views that were being presented.
So why do we do that? Why do we get ourselves into discussions that we really know nothing about, all the time standing by what we believe and not really presenting anything to support that belief?
Sadly, Christians are the prime example. Many will debate very strongly to support their belief in the "rightness" of one denomination over the other, or over the interpretation of a particular passage of scripture - all the time not really supporting their position, just arguing for it.
Debating fiercely doesn't make you right, it just makes you loud.
So, to everyone out there that I have just been loud with, I apologize. Before I get myself into another of these debates, I will do some homework. If I ever stand on the opposite side of your point of view, I hope you will do the same.