Reasonableness is vital.

There is much argument to be had on the issue of reasonableness. Extreme religionists will argue that faith in the revealed word is reasonable, and those of a secular bent will argue that it is not. In fact, let me rephrase that: religionists know that their position is inherently unreasonable. To take Christianity, faith is a virtue, and reasoning only brings sad pandas. There is no reasoning to be had here.

Take reasonableness in everyday life. There are all manner of polarising ideas about, each with their own proponents and detractors, regardless of the evidence. Global warming. Political left vs. right. Evolution by natural selection. Bible vs. Qu’ran.

I believe reasonableness has just about disappeared on the internet. Those with the greatest opinion will hold the greatest sway. Is it because they hold a firm position in which no greys are permissible? Or are the arguments so nuanced that nobody is willing to really learn bar the most engaged?

One example of this is the frequent incorrect definition of an atheist: that they are those who are angry at God and therefore reject him/her; or believing that an atheist does not believe in the existence of a supernatural deity full stop, regardless of proof.

This is a (deliberate?) misinterpretation of the facts. As an atheist, I will happily admit that should there be sufficient evidence, I will change my outlook based on it. A believer does not change their outlook regardless of the evidence. Furthermore – how am I to be angry at a God I don’t think exists, or at least has insufficient proof for it’s existence? It’s barmy.

So reasonableness is vital, especially when evaluating what appear to be extreme statements. Look at what the person is saying, and evaluate. Take your time. Don’t jerk your knee, and for goodness sake, look at your own beliefs in a reasonable light.

Perhaps you might learn a thing or two.