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Arguments on the Internet are interminable. The cartoon goes, “Are you coming to bed?” “I can’t. This is important.” “What?” “Someone is wrong on the Internet.”

I’ve been in a long-term running argument with a particular atheist on Thinking Christian. I wrote him another long comment today, calling him to account for some obvious prejudice and stereotyping on his part, where he had been accusing Christianity of bias. After I wrote it I sat back and asked myself why? After five years, do I really expect today’s argument to change his mind? Not really. Some people might be open to convincing, but this person has remained committed to (entrenched in?) his atheism.

Still I continue to hope, but what am I hoping for? This is what I wrote to him:

Why do I care about your addressing those things I just mentioned? Is it because I’m hurt by the prejudices or stereotyping? No, it doesn’t bother me in that way. Is it because I have to win this argument? Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, there’s some intellectual satisfaction in the give-and-take, but I know from long experience that to set “winning” as a goal is to chase a vapor. Chances are, both of us think we’ve out-argued the other, but there’s no NCAA, MLB, NFL, or NBA to set the rules. There are no referees; there is no scorekeeper. No one is going to pronounce one of us the winner. There is no such thing as “winning.”

The reason I ask you to face the realities of your argument here is because I’m hoping that you’ll take a close look at the logical and ethical inconsistencies of your own position, and learn something about yourself from that close look. I’m even hoping that by learning something about yourself, you’ll give yourself freedom to be open to realities you have so far refused to allow into consideration. I’m hoping you’ll learn some of the sorts of things that we all seriously need to know about ourselves and about real life.

I hope I learn something about myself, too, and that I learn something about life and truth.

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