Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
Debate has gone on as long as more than one human gathered together, and after evolving past Might-Makes-Right, some traditional debating strategies emerged to beat an opponent with words; for example, Aristotle's Reductio Ad Absurbum, which means Appeal To Extremes, a method of proving the falsity of a premise by showing that its logical consequence is absurd or contradictory. There is also Argumentum Ad Logicam, Argument From Fallacy, showing that an argument contains an error, therefore its conclusion must be false: i.e. if P then Q but if P is fallacious then Q is false. As venerable, clever & effective as those strategies are, most debates descend into chaos rather quickly, especially if they're successful. More often, Ab Absurdo, Appeal To Mockery & Ridicule, is used, which presents an opponent's argument as absurd, ridiculous, or humorous, and therefore not worthy of serious consideration; but that’s still being relatively civil...
Social Media-based debate descends well below courtesy: name-calling and ad hominem attacks are most often used. They're simple and effective because they either drive off the other party, put them on the defensive, or cause them to get angry; all of which are wins. Other’s go after your reputation: if you claim some kind of authority, they’ll undermine it by asking for ever more detailed proof; there's no expertise so great that they can't imply that someone else is smarter; and if one person is more of an expert, then you must be a second rate fraud. The really caustic ones go after a person's reputation at every opportunity, implying they're pedophiles or homosexuals. You’ll get to know your adversaries, which is odd to consider since you'll never personally meet any of them; in fact, it's best they’re essentially anonymous because the relationship is one based on contempt, disgust & disrespect.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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