Raising the Standard of Discourse (758 words)

Stream on 2019-05-02

An interesting study in theocracy are the practices of one Claire Khaw, a “notorious internet troll” I have previously warned people about several times. I don’t usually like to give troublemakers too much attention, because it enables bad behaviour, and I tend to focus more on rewarding good behaviour. I recently realised that I met Claire about 4 months ago on a stream (starts around 4:20).

If you bother to listen to it, and I certainly don’t recommend this, you can see that she and I have been going around in circles discussing essentially the same topics this whole time. We each claim to represent “logic, truth and morality”, yet our solutions are starkly different. Without exploring our theological differences too much, let’s examine our moral standards and how such things highlight the importance of credibility.

In our last stream, I had to give Claire an ultimatum to cease the ad-homs against me (specifically the speculation about my state of mind), or I would stop talking to her. I made it clear that it had nothing to do with “fearing her arguments” as she may allege. I have understood her arguments (probably better than anyone else) and I reject her position for numerous reasons. Of course, she is categorically unwilling to acknowledge my position.

Not only is she unwilling to submit to superior logic, she insists on attempting to extract information from people which can later be used against them (if you watch the first stream I did with her, you can see her collecting personal information, a tactic I later got wise to). A large part of Claire’s strategy involves ad hominem:

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Source

She is hardly the only person to use this strategy, but she is probably one of the worst offenders. My main use of what could be considered “name-calling” is when I call people stupid (only when they deserve it, because saying stupid things prevents the progress of discussion). If someone attacks me sufficiently much, I will diagnose their ego in order to shame them into stopping their degenerate behaviour. Because I am benevolent, I won’t go any further than is necessary.

Most people aren’t like me, they will make ad homs liberally. I don’t really like that approach, though I am fine with the occasional playful insults (“bantz”). I may not be able to change the internet culture, but I can choose who I associate myself with and choose to only associate with people who don’t use ad hom recklessly. Asides from the fact that ad hom is a bad debate strategy, it is bad optics to be associated with people who insult you, it suggests you have no self-respect. I respect tradition enough to speak to people even though they will likely insult me, as we can see on this disaster of a show (1:00-1:20), but I don’t make a habit of regularly associating with people who can do nothing but shower me in insults.

My Philosophy

I want to continue talking to as many people as possible. In order to do that, I can’t be seen to endorse the practice of excessive ad-homs. I will tolerate them when they are accompanied by a legitimate argument, but over time I hope we can eliminate them entirely. It just makes for a more productive and less hostile environment.

I hope people will agree with me, because if there’s no standards, then you end up with a disaster like this:

A great humiliation for both parties.

Conclusion

Whether you like it or not, people will make judgements about ideology based on who is representing them. A large part of the reason propertarianism is a laughingstock is because Curt Doolittle is constantly blocking people on social media and then proclaiming how grand his genius is. When questioned about his idea of “natural law”, one soon realises he has no initiation to the tradition of natural law and indeed rejects many of its core tenets (namely that it originated in India & that oral debate is the supreme means of conflict resolution – Curt refuses to do live debates & knows nothing of traditional Natural Law). As a consequence, he attracts grug-tier followers.

Let’s treat this stuff as a learning opportunity. Let’s all do our part to raise the standard of discourse into the realm of ideas and out of the realm of immature personality cult muscle flexes, we all know none can beat me in that game. Be realistic, accept that ad homs are simply not going to work; they will only bolster my position.

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