Dr. Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy - Don’t Be a Dick
… or “How to argue skepticism without being an asshole”.
Some people are claiming I was saying we need to be milquetoasts. That’s ridiculous. I was very clear that anger has its place, that we need to be firm, and that we need to continue the fight.
Some were claiming they have a right to be dicks — I’m bemused by this, as of course you have that right. But that doesn’t mean it’s most effective, or that you should be one.
Others took issue with my initial question, asking how many people were “converted” to skepticism by having a skeptic yelling at them and insulting them. In fact, at least one person said that method does work and worked on them. That’s good for them, but given what we know about the way people argue and change their views on issues, the vast majority of people will become further entrenched when confronted in that way.
In other words, being a dick not only usually doesn’t work, it almost always works against the bigger goal of swaying the most people we can.