This is another one of those funny little observations that you make when you’ve been arguing with idiot theists and they all seem to have the same pattern. I’ve noted in the past the tendency to vilify people that a lot of failed debaters have, where they cannot actually defend their own claims so they want to try to vilify the opposition as a means to justify their own actions. This is yet another case of misdirection, where they realize they’ve lost the debate on any rational grounds so they try to make an end-run around the far side of sanity.
“Hey, why are you so mad?”
I think we see a lot of that with the whole “angry atheist” thing, theists will deflect the failures of their theology by inquiring why the person who is asking them to defend their faith is upset or angry, even if it’s clear that they’re not. Obviously, if their opponent wasn’t so pissed off, they’d be able to see just how wonderful the religion or the political claim or whatever actually was!
In reality, it is just a fallacious deflection, an attempt to get around their own failures and if you point out that’s what they’re doing, it’s just more proof that you’re far too upset to be worth talking to. I’m not sure if the ploy is designed more to give them a quick escape hatch because you’re too mad to deal with, or if it’s designed to frustrate you enough to actually make you mad, but I find that once they spring the “why are you mad” fallacy, there’s usually very little way to back away from the precipice. They’re just going to ask that question over and over and over again and any response you make, no matter how measured and pleasant, is going to convince them that you’re getting madder by the minute.
The fact is, so many of these apologetic techniques that I see lately seem to be more a means of getting out of a debate than in actually winning one. Perhaps theists are finally starting to realize that they can’t win based on evidence and reason, they can only call for blind faith and if the person they are debating eschews faith, they’re shit out of luck and have to call for a hasty retreat.
I wish I knew of a good tactic for people who use any of these irrational escape ploys. Anyone have any suggestions?