Insults are the bioweapons of today’s culture war. We are fighting turmoil worse than has been seen in many decades. It’s a witch hunt on both sides of the aisle, and as someone who has talked extensively to people from both sides, I’ve come to one conclusion above all else. Insults can never be used in lieu of a logical argument. Those who resort to them rarely have a sound argument to stand upon at all.
The instant, logical question to follow this is with regards to whether insults are ever warranted. And the answer, perhaps, is that of course insults have their place. But we must be able to answer a critical question: Why? Why, this time, is this insult warranted?
Oddly, we quite often see a situation where insults and personal attacks are made entirely in-place of any logical stance whatsoever. And therein lies the beginnings of our problems, where we have completely bogus arguments and illogical stances being taught in our schools as facts. And we accept them blindly because we are fooled by nature of the egregious attacks that are made against us. But all too often, we can never answer the question: Why?
We are in for a surprise.
We are so busy fighting each other that we’ve forgotten that we may one day face a FAR worse enemy that we have not yet conceived. Massive uprisings or authoritarian governments do not rise within a vacuum. In the wake of turmoil within society, we’ve laid the foundations for something much more sinister. Moral authoritarianism is being planted in plain sight, and it’s not something that history judges lightly.
So, with insults, doxxing, and censorship now being the bioweapons of today’s war between two radically different worldviews, let’s example the nature of our mode of attack. Let’s break down the elements of these attacks that make them effective. Let’s determine why they work, and why they are dangerous.
Arguments today essentially depend upon:
- Hurling enough insults to intimidate your opponent
- Framing their arguments as “hate speech” – something they undeniably detest, and therefore silencing them.
- Doxxing/censoring people
- Creating faulty premises that force your opponent to arrive at a faulty conclusion.
It’s easy to see the other side as the “guilty one” when reading the above, but both sides do this. Not only this, but both sides do it excessively and rarely look in the mirror. The truth gets lost in the madness, and we may never find out if an argument is worth its salt.
What is missing? In short, it lacks any logical premises at all. Intimidation is used in lieu of evidence, logic, and facts.
We have failed to answer the critical question: Why?
90% of the time, those resorting to insults are doing so because they have no credible arguments left. They are counting on you to care too much about your reputation and image. They are counting on you to be afraid of being framed in a negative light. They are counting on you to be unable to dodge sham arguments with facts.
And sadly, too many people fall for it. It becomes a powerful form of distraction, and we forget to examine whether an argument is established upon a sound foundation. We forget to examine an argument critically, as we so often train our students in Academia to do.
The secret to changing the game is to examine the premises.
Deconstruct a faulty argument from the foundations, not from the rooftops. It’s a curveball. It’s not one they expect. And it’s not one they can dodge with insults. Use the very premises that they present, and examine them to arrive at the truth, rather than on an arbitrary stance.
And this works because it forces the discussion to examine the reasons for an argument, and not just the tip of the iceberg. Only in examining the reasons can we arrive at a consensus that fully understands the viewpoint. We reject the snuck premises that cause us to arrive at illogical conclusions without knowing why.
And all-too-often, we build mountains on sand. The very foundations that an entire ideology is based upon are faulty and weak, and yet we push them as fact to today’s young and old. And it works. It works because they frame any dissent as unjustified, egregious skepticism. They gaslight the critical man into believing that their experiences are hateful and unjust.
And that’s a question that, all too often, the bully is unprepared to answer. Because to do so would be to self-incriminate.
Insults can never win over the wise.