A redated post.
This is C. S. Lewis's description of Flippancy in the Screwtape Letters:
But flippancy is the best of all. In the first place it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real Joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour plating against the Enemy that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practise it.
This passage helps me explain the atmosphere that I found in secular philosophy departments when I was in graduate school. It never seemed to me as if people actually had arguments against theism, or dualism, etc. Everyone acted as if the Argument had been made, maybe on the day I was absent. But no one actually made it. "Everyone is a materialist." "Determinism is obviously true." "No one believes that anymore." "God??? How quaint." Etc. Etc. Etc. Oh yes, and my favorite. "We've grown up."
Is it the same way nowadays?