Nearly every week I am involved in some kind of disagreement about something or other. This is not surprising as I have many strong and different views and opinions that not everyone agrees with. But believe it or not I relish and even cherish these debates and disagreements. However, what does annoy me greatly during these disagreements is when some pompous, self righteous, self appointed, guardian of online morality and political correctness claims to be ‘offended’ at something I’ve said or how I’ve said it.
Well to put it mildly I am bloody tired of these complaints, and I want to say here for the record that if you are offended during any disagreement we have, or anything you see me say, or anything you see or hear on social media or the internet it is entirely YOUR own fault, and really you need to take a long hard look at yourself.
The usual complaints I get from some ‘snowflakes’ is about my tone, my language, or my so called lack of lack of respect. Well tough. The fact is that not everyone comminucates or expressess themselves the same, and it would be very boring if we did. Language and communication is vastly diverse, wonderfully broad, and is based and formed on cultural, environmental, and personal factors. Deal with it.
However, more often than not these crys of offence by the ‘powder puffs’ are often only an attempt to divert attention away from the point being discussed. Usually those who claim offence disagree with my views and want me to change them, when I dont they get offended or want me to shut up.
If someone claims to be offended it should never divert the discussion away from what is being discussed and it should NEVER, EVER be assumed that the offended party is correct, has won the argument, 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 people choose to make far too quickly, far too easily. I dont offend easily if at all, go ahead try it, many have and continue to do so. They will try to illicit a response or reaction with some comment, jibe or even personal insult. This usually just tends to amuse me. But don’t get me wrong sometimes it can piss me off, especially its from some pretentious and obnoxious guru or so called expert, but their attempts me never offend me. The way I look at it is if I take offence then these knob heads have the upper hand, and I will never let them have that.
To state you are offended during a discussion, debate, or even a disagreement is irrelevant and meaningless, it adds nothing to your argument. Stating you are offended actually demonstrates that you are incapable of controlling your own emotions and so expect others to do it for you.
I have had, and will continue to get many people tell me I have offended them. Usually I find it comes from those so called authority who really should know better. These claims used to throw me from my chain of thought and usually stop the discussion in its tracks. This is exactly what the so called offended person wants.
Well it doesn’t happen anymore. If someone is offended by anything I have said, or how I have said it, I tend to ignore it and continue to argue the point at issue. This may appear harsh and uncaring, its not, its the rules of debate.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 ignored. Respect is a two way street, and most who say I should show them respect, usually have little towards me.
Being able to disagree with someone without being offended can be tough, and it takes time to develop a thick skin. But once you can it can help you progress enormously as it means 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 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 person in the discussion just won’t follow the rules and reverts to the good ol’ logical fallacies and ad hominem attacks. So what do you do? Well, first congratulate yourself for winning the argument, then point out to the other party how they have failed to follow the rules of discussion and how this is now the end of debate/discussion. If they persist try to ignore them which can be difficult, but usually most soon get bored and disappear. Failing that there is always the block or mute button on most social media sites.
So I hope my experience of online disagreements and dealing with those who have been offended 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 may feel yourself becoming offended, either by me or anyone else, that you will pull yourself together, get a grip, and try to continue to discuss the point at issue.
As always, thanks for reading