Last night, I had the opportunity to have a cordial conversation with an atheist friend, Tom, on his YouTube channel. Tom and I met online several months back after getting into a Twitter argument over the nature of morality, which I wrote about then.
We exchanged several direct messages with one another over the course of several months before things settled down a bit, and we developed a friendship that led to this conversation.
Tom recently started hosting discussions, which he calls Tea with Tom, and invited me to discuss the nature of debating on social media. So, our conversation centered on the limitations of Twitter, Facebook and the like as an arena for hosting serious debate.
Ironically, some technical difficulties prevented us from starting the discussion on time. I literally could not hear a word Tom was saying for fifteen-twenty minutes before I was able to find a work-around––an apt illustration for the topic of the evening.
The dialogue was not necessarily set up as a point-counterpoint forum, but a little of that does occur. Unfortunately, I proved ill-prepared for some of that discussion.
For example, I drew a complete blank when Tom described the shift from polytheism to monotheism as a consolidation of gods once the member of the Pantheon were proven to be useless. I haven’t gone back and watched the video, but it felt like I sat there for a long time, completely unable to find something intelligent to say.
Part of that was because I felt like Tom over-simplified development of religious thought to the point that it was difficult to know where to begin. Part of it was that we were having our discussion past 10 PM EDT, and anyone who knows me knows that’s not the time of day where I do my best thinking and speaking.
Whatever the case, I fumbled the ball on that one, but the back and forth on theological/philosophical issues wasn’t the main point of the conversation. There’s value in hearing conversations between two people who disagree on issues without one person lambasting the other.
Maybe next time, Tom and I can shift gears and do a more substantive back and forth on our differences and why we each hold the views that we do. In the meantime, here’s my appearance on Tea with Tom.