I've found that the most effective way to deal with insults and provocations is to ignore them. That way I don't get caught up in pointless tit-for-tat verbal slugfests. Instead, I look to see whether there is an actual idea worth responding to and limit my comments to that--if I respond at all.<quoted text>another interesting difference among and between skeptics, atheists, and agnostics on here. I agree entirely with the emphasis you put on diversity of opinion on finer points. It is interesting to see them and discuss them. Some points are basic, and even there we may disagree - between the socalled hard atheists who claim to know there is no god, God,gods of any kind, and the socalled soft atheists (I prefer the term agnostic atheist, as I describe myself) who do not know and also do not believe. Skeptic seems to be a hard atheist.
However, there is an important difference in style sometimes, that seems to reveal a big difference in the amounts of tolerance for other views. I am very put off by the insulting style. I can understand comments in retaliation - it is difficult to take provocations forever without striking back. But to be the first to be nasty seems improper to me - except in the case of an absolutely brilliant attack of some sort - a Colbert at his best style mockery, or equivalent. Then if it is really funny, or brilliant, or especially if it is both, then I am tolerant of a strong strike against a particularly ignorant assertion. I always like your style and substance - and even in comparison with others of our fundamental view, I find you most agreeable to converse with, both for myself, and in how you respond to others. That is high praise, since I find many others who seem to be agnostic-atheists whom I like a lot. including even folks who disagree on the nuances, including aint necessarily so.(Obviously I am disgusted with Skeptic from London, and do not regard him as a skeptic at all - but as a "true-believing hard atheist").
My basic point of view is that if I've expressed myself well enough in the first place that there is nothing to add or clarify, I wait to post until I have something new to add. I think of that as a courtesy to the overall readership of the forum--why should I bore them by writing variants of the same post over and over again? I trust the readers I care about to remember ideas for at least a page or two.