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There are two types of people in this world: those who divide people into two groups and those who don't. I am one of the latter. Many "two group" lines can be drawn between the posters on this board. For example: those who've been here a while and the relative newbies, conservatives and liberals, inerrantists and those who believe the Bible contains errors, etc.

A separate and distinct additional line can be drawn between the "veterans" of this board and the "newbies": some believe that topics which have been previously argued into the ground should now be avoided, while those of us who haven't been here so long are eager to discuss controversial topics ourselves. I've seen some people criticized for bringing up subjects that have been previously discussed. Another comment i've seen is that nothing is gained from these "rehashings" because no one changes their point of view. Tempers flare, feelings get hurt, no one benefits.

I feel compelled to state my vehement disagreement with the above-mentioned sentiment; something is always gained. If the only valid threads were the ones where people's minds were changed by opposing arguments, then this board might as well not even exist. Chances are pretty low that views and beliefs are going to be altered here. We all cling far too tightly to them. But people benefit from these discussions. Some simply become aware of differing points of view they didn't even know existed. Some come to better understand a point of view there were previously aware of but had little exposure to. Some may be led to realize that the people holding the opposing view point are not as "evil" and "godless" as they may have thought. Some may just learn to have a calm, intelligent debate with another person. And all of these potential benefits are magnified by participating in the debate, rather than merely reading an old thread.

None of these potential benefits should be discounted. I apologize to the veterans of this board who do not want to see the same topics argued over and over. I do not blame you. But please do not make others feel bad for bringing up these controversial topics. Please allow intelligent discussions to continue unharrassed. Someone will benefit.


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