I often wonder if some of the more arrogant, self-important posters would say the same things if sat around in a coffee shop, discussing the issues. I wonder if there would be the same amounts of INDIGNATION at others making statements, and so on.
No, there wouldn't. In face-to-face there are a lot of things that inhibit out-of-line behavior, from a flicker of disgust in someone's eyes right on up to a hard slap across the kisser. And a social group usually moderates a discussion before it becomes a shouting match and chairs get thrown. If nothing else, the barista calls the cops.
That's not the case online. On an unmoderated forum there are no really effective social penalties for bad actors. Even a moderated forum has trouble, I suppose partly because moderators are making decisions based on text posts and they don't have all the social cues we get in face-to-face. The social control mechanism is a lot more artificial and less organic.
I dunno, that's just my opinion. I wouldn't want to be arrogant or indignant about it.