Frequenting various forums and social networking sites I’m always amazed at the manner in which a statement can start a debate, and, in turn, an argument. With many of these venues related to discussion of the paranormal, I’ve come to expect a certain amount of snarky exchanges that descend into insults. Curiously though, this Texan sharp-shooter has been watching a trend pass from these often irrational discussions into the ‘skeptical community’. It grinds gears and my recently healed forehead is already sporting a new, corner of the table shaped gash.
So, what the hell am I talking about?
The person who is making a valid point and, in the heat of the moment, accompanies it with an insult. More sensitive than the abscess on my gum, the second party in the discussion throws their hands up and argues the other has used an insult, ergo, their point is invalid.
Maybe it’s my 27 year existence on the hill side of a Cotswold town, but this reasoning strikes me as pretty dumb. Regardless of whether I’ve called you a fish head, goat sucker, politically correct faux-left Guardian reading right winger (that always upsets) or similar, it doesn’t automatically invalidate my argument. As Ash Pryce and Keir Liddle of some foreign skeptical group noted, some people may not want to listen to anyone who uses insults.
But that misses the point somewhat.
Regardless of what I or anyone else has called you, two apples added to three bananas make five pieces of fruit.
And calling you King Cnut doesn’t change that.