In the famous "Sermon on the Mount" the following words are ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth:
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Matthew 7:6 - NKJV)
Lately I have been thinking more and more of that saying as I survey the debate between believers and nonbelievers in God. It is very difficult to find civil discussion among the warring factions these days. Both sides metaphorically view their opponents as something like wild dogs and pigs, vicious and unrelenting.
Believers tend to think unbelievers have hearts of stone and, thus, eyes that will not - that absolutely refuse to - see the obvious, preferring darkness to light. Dogs and pigs, all of them!
On the other hand, nonbelievers feel believers lack good sense and the ability to reason well; not only so, they dare place faith above the much-vaunted scientific method. Dogs and pigs, the whole lot!
The gravity of the God issue is one which forces a person to choose sides and embrace their chosen side deeply. Both sides hold certain tenets as sacred or at least of supreme importance, as pearls of wisdom. That seems naturally to lead to vitriol.
Perhaps the time for debate is over. Perhaps the time never was and debates about God have always been pointless. They just stir the pot and get people all worked up. They change nothing.