Nearly every week I am involved in some kind of disagreement about something or other. This is not surprising, I have many differing views and opinions that not everyone agrees with. This is perfectly fine. I cherish, relish, and enjoy the debate and discussion these disagreements bring. However, what often happens and annoy’s me greatly during these disagreements is some self appointed guardian of online morality or political correctness complains to be offended.
Well I am sick and tired of these complaints, and I want to say here for the record that if you are offended during any disagreement we have it is entirely YOUR own fault, and you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your morals a little more closely.
The usual complaint of offence is often about a so called of lack of respect, or the tone of conversation, or langauge used. However, more often than not claims and out crys of offence are simply an attempt to divert attention away from the point at issue being discussed. If someone claims offence it should not divert the discussion away from whats being discussed and it should NEVER, EVER be assumed that the offended party is therefore correct or has won the arguement, or that they deserve an apology, or even any recognition of their so called distress. As the late, great orator Christopher Hitchens said…
Being offended is a choice, and one that many choose to make far too quickly, far too easily. I dont offend easily if at all, go ahead try it, many have tried and continue to do so. They will try to illicit a response or reaction with some stupid comment, jibe or even personal insult. This usually just tends to amuse me, it can at times piss me off if its from some certain pretentious and obnoxious individuals, and I do occasionally retaliate to them. But their attempts never offend me, if I take offence then these knob heads have the upper hand, and I will never let these fuckers have that.
To state you are offended during a disagreement or any discussion is completely irrelevant and meaningless, it adds nothing. I have had these tactics of others being offended employed on me many times, usually by those in so called authority who really should know better, and it used to put me off and throw me from my chain of thought and usually stop the discussion/disagreement. This is exactly what the so called offended person/party wants. Well it doesn’t happen anymore. If someone is offended by anything I have said, or how I have said it, I don’t care that much, and I will continue to argue the point at issue. This may appear harsh and uncaring, its not, its just the rules of discussion.
Comments like “I don’t like your tone” or “I think you have a terrible attitude” even the good old fashioned “you need to show some respect” are simply ignored and disregarded. It must be remembered that respect is a two way street, and most who say I should show them some respect, usually have fuck all respect towards me.
I have now learnt the rules of debate and I am now able to stick to them, more or less. Sure I’ve made some mistakes in the past, losing my temper and attacking others, as well as falling foul of the logical rules of debate. But I have learnt from these. Being able to disagree without being offended can be tough, and it takes time to develop a thick skin, but once you can, it helps you progress enormously. It can mean that you learn from those you disagree with the most, and I disagree with a lot of people.
A tool that has helped me with this is Crockers Rules. By following these rules it means you agree to be succinct, direct and blunt in the exchange of information. It means you accept that frankness, brevity and even perceived rudeness is sometimes necessary for the exchange of information, especially on social media, where nuances and tone are hard if not impossible to convey or interpret. When two people with different views/ideas debate following Crockers Rules it can be a quick and frantic exchange that to the outsider it can appear rude, harsh and argumentative.
However, using Crockers Rules is not an excuse to act like an arsehole all the time, or to deliberately go out of your way to be direct, blunt or try to offend someone just for the hell of it. I would also say that where you dont have to use Crokers Rules such as in face to face discussion then don’t use them.
If you are having a discussion with someone with differing views then the common rules of debate should always be followed, and the logical fallacies avoided. Below are a couple of pictures to remind you of these….
But there are times when the other party in the discussion just won’t follow the rules and soon reverts to the good ol’ logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks. So what do you do?
Well, first of all congratulate yourself for winning the argument, and tell the other party how they have failed to follow the rules of discussion and thats that, end of debate/discussion, move on. However, if they persist with more fallacy’s, try to ignore them which can be difficult, but usually they soon get bored and disappear. If however they don’t, I usually find a quick sharp ‘will you fuck off‘ followed by explaining how you will not be wasting your time or energy in any further with them usually does the trick. Failing that there is always the block or mute button on most social media sites.
So I hope my experience of online disagreements helps you avoid some of the logical fallacy’s as well as the usual tactics that others can employ with you. I also hope that the next time you feel yourself becoming offended, either by me or anyone else, that you will now pull yourself together, act like a adult, and try to continue to discuss the point at issue.
As always, thanks for reading