A few months back, Paul Williams asked me to write for Blogging Theology, and I enthusiastically accepted. I was thrilled by the prospect of participating in an ongoing interfaith dialog — as a philosophy PhD candidate in a secular university, opportunities for fruitful, in-depth conversations with Muslims on matters on which we disagree are few and far between. So without further ado, I put together a few articles and published them on the blog.
I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that ensued. I am very grateful to all of those who took the time to read my articles and voice their objections, in a reasonably civil manner. I have taken a step back from blogging due to my other commitments, but frequently visit the blog. And, almost every time, I am saddened and disappointed by what I see.
Insults, vulgarity and cheap shots litter the comment sections. The overall tone of the blog has become absurdly polemical, and frankly bitter. With a few praiseworthy exceptions, I see next to no attempt at thoughtfulness and charity towards other people’s views. Pouring scorn on your ‘enemy’ now seems to be the norm.
Anger of course has its place. But it seems obvious that worthwhile theological discussion only really takes place when all participants agree to be respectful and sufficiently dispassionate.
Which leads me to my main question to you all: what do you think the purpose of this blog should be?
Here are a few options…
(A) To vent out our frustrations
(B) To make inflammatory comments for laughs
(C) To engage in meaningful theological inquiry
At the end of the day, this is Paul’s house, and the decision is his to take. But I think it makes sense for those of us who care about the blog to have a good think about where it’s going, and where we’d like to see it go.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
God have mercy on us all.