Atheists have closed down rational discussion no all message boards. I can't find a message board ran by atheists where the atheists don't use bully tactics to silence all contrary thought. Their major tactic is to ignore whatever logical argument the apologist gives and either attack personality, or bring up a litany of irrelevant side issues. For example, I once spent well over an hour crafting a well structured and well thought out argument about the nature of empiricism and not a single atheist, out of about ten responding said anything about it. The entire thread was taken up with questions like "O yea, well why are there contradictory geneologies of Jesus in the Bible?" Trust me on this one, this has absolutely nothing to do with empiricism.
The other tactic is to turn the apologist into the issue. This was done to me on a mass scale by the Secular Web people who started a character assassination campaign. The first spread the lie that no one thinks Metacrock is intelligent. Then they began saying "Metacrock admits he can't debate" (now would I say that?). Finally, they spread the idea that my arguments have all been beaten. Some atheists defended my arguments. Fleetmouse put up a valient defense of my cosmological argument on Metafilter. But the AARM people assisted in destroying my reputation so these ideas quickly because short hand ways to dismiss anything I post. But other Christians don't fair any better. A friend of my tried to use my cosmological argument on "debating Christianity" and was immediately told "O these arguments are by Metacrock so they have been beaten." My friend argued that 'beating these arguments is a simple matter of showing this and this. let's see you do so." Of course they never even tried. They just began making his personality the issue.
Of course then there is the blame the victim camp. They want to just reduce the whole argument to "well its your fault because you are insulting to people." I am the first to admit when I get frustrated I can respond by lashing out. When you have twelve people or so insulting you and calling you names and trying to make your personality the issue you are going to tend to get frustrated. I find that it is impossible to go on a message board and put down a logical argument for the existence of God and get a logical response. No atheist will address my arguments by using logic. They must either make me the issue or diver to their litany of one liners "what about the crusades." I do admit that I have not helped myself. My temper has gotten in the way. but that is no excuse for why I cannot find a single board on which I can have a discussion about the logic of a God argument.
Another tatic they employ is the claim of logic. In this scam the atheist claims that the apologists argument is illogcial and that he has beaten the logic, but he never actually deals with it. I always challenge them "show me a law of logic that my argument violates." Here I mean "this is a violation of the law of excluded middle." Or perhaps "this is special pleading." They do actually use that because before they shut down disucssion they had an atheist misconception which they always trotted out that the claim that God doesn't need a cause is special pleading. When you ask them to define special pleading they never can.
There are some boards where the mods assist the atheists. These are boards that pretend to be Christian boards or don't announce their atheist affiliation. Christian Boards and Debating Christianity and Religion are two examples. The latter is really bad because they will actually move your post if you win an argument. Two threads of a friend of mine were moved to a section called "random ramblings" where they would not be seen. In one of those my friend had 300 studies to back his argument and in the other one he gave two criteria that one must meet to beat the argument and the atheists never said anything about them. They said "these are Metacrock's arguments so they have been disproven." They said my friend must be my soul mate because doesn't think I'm stupid. But they never dealt with any logical argument at any time. These were structured well thought out arguments which have been ran by Plantinga (Notre Dame) and Robert Koons (UT) they were not "random ramblings."
Why have atheists shut down discussion? Probably for the same reason that this new cult of atheist "fundie" has risen to spread hate. Atheism in its organized manifestation is rapidly becoming a hatre group. The pretense of the great intellectual scientist such as Dennett or Dawkins (Sam Harris had only a BA when he published The End of Faith) is basically a lie. These people are not involved with rational argument, they don't confront Plantinga or Koons they just coast on an undeserved reputation of havng achieved something in science that they never achieved. I think the reason is because atheism is a spent force in society. The paradigm is shifting to the extent that atheism is about to become totally irrelevant to any thinking agenda concerned with metaphysics. Atheism is more and more religated to the ninteeth century and the old progress laden way of thinking that was part of the 1939 world's fair mentality. Allf forms of religion are growing, Christianity is growing in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, but Islam is growing at a faster rate, wica is growing at an amazing rate, but atheism lacks any cultural capital and is still largely an unthinkable proposition for most people. Atheists are lashing out, and those on the internet have been beaten consistantly by Christian argument. All of their truisms have been disproven and their litany of irrelivant side issues have been derailed. Sot have no resource left but to abandon rational discussion.