The comments thread for my recent post What Are You Thinking? Part 2: On Autism and Vaccines is 42 opinions long as of this writing. It's a spectacular irony showcase, as anonymous commenters sling the ad hominem while others attempt to equate belief and anecdotes with truth -- in a post dedicated to skepticism, the importance of research and open-mindedness, and the pitfalls of black-and-white pronouncements. (The comments also contain fine writing from evidence-seeking critical thinkers.)
I didn't respond to every point, and I'll tell you why (this is pulled and edited from the comments themselves):
I am disinclined to engage with people who feel threatened by neutral statements (e.g., suggesting people think for themselves), are dismissive (insisting that scientific studies are bogus but their anecdotes are legitimate) or perseverate on details to direct attention away from a larger argument.
I am also leery of those who pull a J.B. Handley in claim-jumping expertise (e.g., "[Alison Singer] annihilated the truth about what Wakefield actually studied in 1998, while inferring that she belonged to the group of people who understand science, much as you have done here." [and I believe this person meant "implying."]) yet leave their name unlinked.
Belief can lead to righteousness intoxication, making releasing those beliefs extremely difficult, because then where would you get that high? What would you have left?
We all have the right to share our beliefs. But we do not have the right to expect others to accept them, especially when the evidence to the contrary is so strong.