Have you ever fallen victim to the Ad Hominem or the Strawman fallacy? I have, and I observe others do it daily. At their root, there is another fallacy at work: confusing people with the ideas they articulate. We seem to prefer attacking people to attacking ideas. Religions for example are given a lot of respect, when they don’t deserve any. No idea does. Only people do.
We can have more meaningful discussions — especially online — by treating each other with the respect we deserve. Ideas, however, should be ripped up and patched back together as we please.