I mean in this part of the forum, not why do we exist.
As I read through the postings I come to the conclusion that some people have the singular goal of making people view things the same way they do.
I believe this is a mistake for a few reasons.
First, if someone comes to this part of the forum it is likely they already have a fairly strong reason for believing what it is they believe. From reading what people write it is clear that people know what they believe and why they believe it. People in this part of the forum have done their homework for the most part. Thus it will be much harder to persuade them to your point of view than it would someone that has not really spent much time on the topic.
Second, in a different thread Candice mentioned the "backfire effect". This is a rather fascinating theory. In short this is the backfire effect, "in the face of contradictory evidence, beliefs get stronger. Hence, most refutations are useless" (taken from rationalWiki)
This is also from RationalWiki...
What should be evident from the studies on the backfire effect is you can never win an argument online. When you start to pull out facts and figures, hyperlinks and quotes, you are actually making the opponent feel as though they are even more sure of their position than before you started the debate. As they match your fervor, the same thing happens in your skull. The backfire effect pushes both of you deeper into your original beliefs
Finally, the time frame most people stick around for or look for changes in is way too short. It is very possible that people will change their views, but it will happen gradually over time, forgive the pun, but they will evolve with time. I am the perfect example of this, a bit more than a decade or so ago I was a Young Earth Creationist making many of the very same arguments that are being made today, light from stars, 2nd law of thermodynamics and more. But over time based on discussion both in online forums and in person with people my views have changed to where I am now an Old Earth Creationist. But this change took place over the course of years, not days or even months.
One of my favorite Christian apologist likes to say that his goal is to "put a stone in your shoe", not to convert you. He wants to give you something to think about, something that you will keep thinking about for weeks and months to come.
This can never happen though if we are rude and demeaning to one another. The chances of me taking someone serious that has been condescending towards others is just about nil. In Acts 17 we read about Paul speaking in the market place of Athens. His actions there should guide us Christians on this forum.
And I know that I have in the past been short with people, it is easy to get defensive when people are on the attack, and then nothing ever gets accomplished.
I love coming to this forum and reading the different points of view. As I said in a different thread, I am about to turn 50 and I have never met nor spoke to anyone that believed in a geocentric model. I am truly fascinated by what they have to say and read almost all of it. I would say there is zero chance of me agreeing with them at this time, but it has clearly given me things to think about and I guess it is entirely possible that in another decade I could join their ranks. But this can never happen if we cannot have civil, polite discussions.
There are too many locked threads in this forum, that means we are not learning from each other, we are just talking down to each other.
Please, let us all agree to share our ideas and our views in a way that encourages discussion!