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Ask the Patriarch 66
The Low Quality of Talk Back

from Andy M

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I have to know: do you purposely pick the least intelligent-sounding letters from believers as the ones to post under "Talk Back"?  I have trouble believing that all of them are that poorly written and the arguments in them even more poorly constructed.  That is one of the reasons I have never responded in a Debate & Discourse discussion - what's the point of arguing with idiocy and ignorance?  Then again, as I type this now, I am struck by a sense of irony that although I am someone who praises himself on his ignorance, I can be annoyed and appalled by another's.

The Patriarch replies:


I agree with your perception that, overall, the quality of Talk Back articles is very low. The better ones are predominantly sent in by agnostics and atheists who have some point of disagreement with what I am doing here.

I certainly don’t reject intelligent articles. What is published is what is sent. I have ignored a handful of totally abysmal submissions over the years - that is articles worse than those I've published. (In fact I have one in hand right now from someone claiming to be an agnostic criticizing us – who admits she has only read the name of the site. That won’t get published.)

I would like to get better quality Talk Back to challenge our ideas and make us think. The reality is that it is unlikely to happen. Intelligent believers understand where we are coming from and even though they might disagree, they are aware that the probability of changing minds is low. And as for the less-than-intelligent believers - well I guess we'll continue to get bible passages quoted at us to "prove" the point.

Best wishes