In Blogistan there is much talk of the War of Ideas. Our mentality about certain aspects of the conversation is dominated by this metaphor of war. In some ways, the metaphor is apt, and useful for thinking about certain things.
We have to be careful, though, how literally we take the analogy. Ideas cannot fight each other as such. To the degree they do fight each other directly, they fight out in the world, as people try to implement them - good ideas succeed and propagate, while bad ideas fail and die out. That's closer to the idea of natural selection than war.
In mass media (including the Internet) ideas compete via the adversary system - certain people become advocates of certain ideas, and those people use various forms of leverage (rhetoric, market power, community-building, etc.) to advance their viewpoint.
The leap we often make, to the great detriment of our understanding of the dynamic power of the human mind, is to identify ourselves with the ideas we advance and defend, and our enemies with the ideas they advance and defend.
It's a natural enough tendency. The trouble is, people are large - they contain multitudes. Everyone has areas of their mind that function very well, and other areas of their mind that are underdeveloped and ineffective. Our good ideas come from the areas that work well, bad ideas from the less developed areas. The way you tell the difference is through a vigorous expression and defense of ALL your ideas, the good and the bad.
The trouble comes when people assign so much emotional weight to their ideas that they cannot accept that all their ideas might not be good. They become perceptively dead, spending all the energy that should be going towards development on defending their current view of the world.
Meanwhile their opponents see this and use it as an excuse to calcify their OWN opinions into beliefs - "if we are opposing THOSE people who are so obviously deluded and wrong, we must be right!"
Never forget that to whatever degree humankind can benefit from a true War of Ideas, it is a war that rages inside of the mind of the individual. If you cannot, at the end of a decade, look back over your life and survey a veritable wreckage of bankrupt thought and action, you have wasted ten years of your life.
Advance and defend your ideas unto their death, but no farther.