A call for civil discussion, an end to the in-fighting?

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Update – 1/30/12 – 6:02PM

Lee Moore of the A-News Podcast has invited me to participate in a series of talks which aim to put a stop to the current in-fighting in the atheist/skeptic community.  He writes, “…I am calling for representatives from both camps in these blog wars to sit down with me in what may be the first of many live and public google hangouts to discuss grievances and come back to the world of civil discussion and cooperation.” I’m more than willing to participate in these discussions and hope others, no matter various grievances they hold, are similarly willing. 

In recent months, as many of my readers know, I have become involved in what could be categorized as ‘atheist in-fighting.’ Upset with the behavior of particular voices in the online atheist community, I have felt compelled to speak up in response to what I have perceived as unfair campaigns of vilification.

I’ve thrown some ‘punches’ here and there, stepped inside and outside the ‘ring,’ and spent a considerable amount of time — rather than focusing on church/state separation issues, atheist activism, or applying skepticism to untenable claims in-line with my ‘central mission’ — participating, in one way or another, in the ‘online soap opera’ which my friend Karla Porter has quaintly called “As the Atheist World Turns.”

There appears to be great differences between two distinct ‘factions’ in the online atheist/skeptic community. Whatever the grievances, and however justified or unjustified they may be from both ‘factions,’ there seems to be a large amount of time spent pertaining to ‘infighting’ that could otherwise be spent on addressing issues such as church/state separation, activism, community-building, educating, and much more.

It would be nice to step back from the ‘atheist/skeptic in-fighting,’ wouldn’t it?

Would others be willing not only to participate in a series of talks, but also to put a stop to the in-fighting?

Can there be a change in discourse?

Sound off in the comments.

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