Let's face it: If the topics are more volatile, then so will the opinions/posts go.
And also as the stakes go up. Because let's face it, most of these 'volatile' topics are of considerably much more importance that locking horns over the relative merits of two competing operating systems.
Despite some of the contention (and occasional acrimony) over these topics, I personally consider them some of the most important discussions ever conducted here. Because these are issues that go right to the root of what we consider are our personal freedoms and responsibilities.
I'm very impressed at how well these threads have gone despite the obvious and largely irreconcilable differences between some of us here at DC. I think the entire community deserves to take a bow for not allowing things to degenerate into out and out acrimony and name calling like it has in many places - including (in the USA at least) the halls of government.
When I was in college I was forced to take a theology course. Most of us in it didn't want to be there. One person in my class on the very first day called out the crusty old Jesuit who was teaching the course. She asked him what was the point of studying theology if you weren't a believer. She claimed to be an atheist - and wanted to know why the university was wasting it's time trying to maker her a believer.
The instructor regarded her with a friendly smile and replied: We're not out to make you anything
in this class. You should feel perfectly free to remain firm in your disbelief. Just as Christians are free to remain Christians; Jews free to remain Jewish; Muslims to remain Muslims; Buddhists to remain Buddhists; and those of the Craft to go in The Lady's name.
But in this class, the one thing you will NOT
be allowed to remain is an ignorant and narrow-minded sectarian.
It turned out to be a very enlightening course. When it was over, despite there being some occasional discomfort when cherished and personal belief systems were put up for discussion and debate, we all agreed it was a worthwhile experience. Because it expanded our outlooks and clarified what was important to each of us.
I think volatile discussions at DC accomplish much the same thing as that course. You might not be able to reach consensus in a discussion. But at least you develop a broader understanding and appreciation
of opposing viewpoints. And with luck, a greater clarity regarding your own.