Charles and a few others have taken exception to Max’s commentary here. (There are more comments communicated to me than what you see posted on the site.) Max responded to Charles, and in part, he wrote:
I thought I was following the rules. Did I miss something?
I think some internet people think little enough about the rules. On the internet, the rules are changed a good deal. Max offers us a pseudonymous presence. In real life, one puts oneself out there and there’s no confusion about one’s identity: teenager, middle-aged, or whatever.
Nor do I engage ever in personal insults and ad hominems at any time.
This is iffy ground for our atheist friend. I think he has learned how to push certain buttons, and when to retreat from conversations in which he’s been cornered. Making negative comments about religion can be deeply insulting to many believers. Sometimes the offense taken is overblown a bit. Insisting that Mary of Nazareth was raped rather stumbles into the realm of insult. Mary has conveniently not been of this Earth for many centuries. But people take comments such as Max’s to heart because of the relationship they have with her.
Max could insult my daughter. That wouldn’t be personal in the sense that she doesn’t blog here and she won’t be reading any such silliness were it to last on CS for any length of time.
I am asking fair questions based on the claims coming from Christians.
Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes Max just presents somewhat adolescent premises for consideration. And yes, people can feel free to engage him or not. He remains welcome to comment here, as long as he stays away from the main sections of this site where people are not visiting to discuss with atheists.
So let’s discuss the matter in the comments: Does an insult have to be directed at the person in order to get personal? Or is it enough to insult a person one loves or has befriended or whom one cares about? Is it possible for an atheist to frame difficult questions without insulting God or the saints or believers not personally present?