Kottke has a great post on how to focus on message and people instead of ignorance.
He ends the post by saying, “We’re all just yelling at each other, attacking, formulating strategies, so sure of ourselves and our convictions that it isn’t even worth listening to anyone who disagrees. No one cares about learning or understanding and progress is measured in opposing viewpoints that are averaged out into solutions no one wanted or can even understand the value of. What a sad state of affairs.”
This is perhaps greatest in the world of religion, where folks who believe various doctrines under the banner of Christianity toss around the word “heresy” with a seemingly casual disregard.
There’s a reason I don’t participate in online fora discussing such issues: it ends up being more about scoring points than seeking truth. It’s hard to find people willing to disagree but still be civil about it.