…So, when we speak of social justice, equality, freedom of speech and so forth, it’s reasonable to expect some similarity in approach, even if not in conclusions reached. To put it plainly, an approach in which we listen to the evidence, in other words to each other, without pre-judging what someone is going to say, what they believe, or what ideological faction they belong to. Their arguments are assessed on their merits, rather than via knowing which websites they frequently comment on.

Nobody can deny that some participants in these conversations are not honest brokers. Some are simply unreconstructed trolls, others trolls of the sly sort, mimicking critical reflection while subtly distracting – and detracting – from the real issues that others are trying to address. Another set of “others” aren’t trolls at all – and it seems to me that the community of sceptical and/or atheist activists and bloggers sometimes have a difficult time of it in distinguishing between these sorts of contributor to the debate.

Jacques Rousseau, writing a guest post at Martin Pribble’s blog, where he speaks to (atheists’) commitment to reason, and a desire to listen to evidence, rather than hearsay, superstition or…well, anything less than evidence-based information.

A bit longish 1, but worth reading. To include the comments.

Though not wholly applicable, I thought it apt in light of recent local events.

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  1. By Twitter standards.

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