Why it's important to criticize people who say stupid things.

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by ArgoSG, May 2, 2011.

  1. #1 ArgoSG, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2011
    Before I go into the title of the thread, there is a large category of people here(and people who are interested in mind altering substances in general), whose thinking about argument, even plain albeit rigorous discussion, goes something like this:

    "Just chill out and smoke a j bro. It's all <relative, subjective, meaningless>. No one is right or wrong. Reasoned arguments and open ended discussion is basically pointless."(I will go into detail about how this is an invitation to troll bait, and I hope someone replies to this thread with something along these lines at the end of my post.)

    This fundamentally contradicts the point of this thread for obvious reasons, and for equally obvious reasons, people who think this way are generally seen as morons at best. Which conveniently brings me to my main argument. The reason we need to call people who say stupid things on strong convictions, stupid, is because this is how society marginalizes bad ideas. Imagine if stupid people who believed profoundly idiotic things were treated equally to our brightest minds who are most in touch with reality. I don't think I need to paint a picture of this sort of society.

    And yet, there are tons upon tons of people on this forum who would probably argue for exactly that. You would hear questions like, "Well who <are you/is anyone> to say who is intelligent and stupid?" or "A society where every person was treated perfectly equally would be superior than our current society."

    As a matter of fact, I'm tempted to anticipate a troll post of massive proportions from TheJourney, who will claim that definitions are meaningless, everything is meaningless, subjective, no one can be right or wrong, and that feeding our children a steady diet of Terence Mckenna and Ayahuasca would be a better strategy for improving the human species. When you ask people like him how they know what they know, you tend to get these non-rigorous, anti-intellectual, logically inconsistent answers like "An acid trip told me so." "I saw god one day after jogging through the wilderness and I know what I feel is 100% true."

    One of my favorite authors has a great argument on this topic, and it goes something like this:

    Just take for example the people who believe that Elvis is still alive. What's wrong with this claim? Why is this claim not vitiating our academic departments and corporations? I'll tell you why, and it's very simple. We have not passed laws against believing that Elvis is still alive. It's just that whenever someone represents their belief that Elvis is still alive; in a conversation, on a first date, at a lecture, at a job interview - He immediately pays a price. He pays a price in ill-concealed laughter. This is a good thing.

    So when someone says something like, "Um prove 2 me scientificly that mathematics exists. Durrrrr you cant, can you? But God works just like math ,dontcha know?" you call them a fucking moron and move on. It is not worth even wasting time with these kinds of people. Society as a whole has a responsibility to marginalize these people and basically say "people who are as patently stupid and/or permanently shaped neurophysiologically by psychoactives as you are, are unfit for anything we as a society deem important, like baby-sitting, managing my portfolio or running for mayor."

    I'm not arguing that people should be merciless at calling everything that sounds stupid to them stupid, or nitpicking, or being grammar nazis, or anything of the sort. People make mistakes all the time. Everyone does. But the way certain people think, in hopelessly biased, illogical, and frankly deranged terms, and voice their beliefs with conviction publicly, they deserve to be spoken to briefly, in the style of, "You're dumb. lol."

    I await your counter-arguments, troll replies, misconstruals, and hopefully approval.
  2. #2 Kardredor, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
    The only point to arguments I see anymore is to call people out on their egos and watch as they get all nervous because they, and the people watching or spectating the argument, typically have no idea how to act at that point. The questioned doesn't know how to respond, and the spectators don't know whose side to act like their on so they look cool and don't embarass themselves.

    And I agree with journey, it's all meaningless jibber-jabber because what else is there to do but jibber-jabber? Which, jibber-jabbering is not any better than not jibber-jabbering, but it's just something different.

    "Today we're going on a field trip to the nature reservation," said Mrs. Bodinger.

    It's a clear and warm day, and the sun's rays are gleaming upon the field that lay before the entrance to the reserve.

    "Why do people have to litter and harm the Earth? This is so nice!" exclaimed Susie.

    "I don't know, but there's not much we can do to change that other than not following in their steps," Billy remarked.

    "That's true," Susie said, "Well, it's a nice day, and the field looks beautiful."

    "Yep." Billy replied.

    Edit: And journey hasn't ever taken acid
  3. #3 Postal Blowfish, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
    Negative, bra. You harshed my buzz, dear one. :devious:

    :D Actually it was nice to see the title of this thread actually have some argumentative weight behind it for a change. Most of the time I see threads titled like this one, it's exactly the kind of dumbass you're talking about being a dumb, egotistical, ethnocentric, poorly composed oaf of a poster I just want to smack.

    Oh yeah, and there are a lot of such people... they have a support network in society, that's why it might not even work if we all made them feel some shame. They'll always have each other. I noticed when I argued with a certain religious person awhile back how every person who shared the same ideas liked each and every one of each others posts, as if to say "i'll agree to believe you didn't just get owned."

    Hey, and what about all the people who think that if they can prove your point isn't valid it will prove theirs valid? Aren't these special snowflakes awesome? My point is your point isn't totally correct. Thanks for nothing!

    You've aimed at some specific people here, so I'm guessing the thread has already turned into a bit of a shitfest but I'm kind of psyched to see what comes next. :cool:

    edit: hmm.. okay im only #3 so I guess I'll wait for the drama.
  4. I always figured these people just ate too many fortune cookies.

    jk, but thanks for that read OP.

    The other option rather than criticism is to just ignore. It works wonders when everyone cooperates. But there is usually a few more morons to back up the original one.
  5. I do feel we have a responsibility to each other to watch out and take care of one another, including pointing out when something is just simply wrong, which must be done with a level of respect (in the sense a reasonable person would define it) in order to gain positive results.
  6. You are stupid, now I'm moving on.
  7. this is stupid.
  8. Tao Te Ching Verse 16:

  9. trailblazers of unpredictability
  10. #10 thabosshogg, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
    There is nothing wrong with understanding and seeing that what someone said is, to you, stupid, senseless, and illogical.

    However, you seem to think that criticizing is important. What part of you can't just say "Well that was stupid" and walk away? Can't you see that criticizing gets you nowhere? You would have a better chance of getting someone to see things through your eyes if you talked to them in a friendly manner.

    I never understood criticizing. It's okay to share your personal viewpoint with others but criticizing is just unnecessary.

    Example from a post earlier today, I say something, and ArgoSG responds that he felt stupider for reading it, and he implied that I am a fountain of gibberish and nonsense, and that I have a frail mind.

    It would have been one thing to explain your own viewpoint, or perhaps to explain why you didn't understand what I was saying... but to insult me was a bit uncalled for. Your whole post was just an insult.... there was nothing constructive about it.

    When I read your posts I always just get the impression of "This guy is having a very bad day"
  11. #11 Postal Blowfish, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
    I usually try to reason with people but when they convince me they're actually as dumb as I first guessed (or dumber) I will begin mocking them.

    His point is that if we set no standards (or low standards), we will end up with the dumbest possible society. I look around and see child sports and games where there is no longer a "losing" team or player and everyone wants to believe in complete equality, and then I see a self-obsessed idiotic consumer society and it's hard to believe that these things are a coincidence.

    If we're just nice all the time, the whole world becomes a passive-aggressive lie where everyone still criticizes, they just refuse to do it to peoples' faces. If we never criticize people, they never get the stimulus to consider how they might be wrong. If we try to preserve feelings instead of inspiring people to be responsible for their own feelings, we might as well go back to the bronze age.
  12. If someone is wrong... he will see the error of his ways in due time.

    And honestly, when was the last time you criticized someone in a negative way and they actually got the point?

    It's rare to say the least....

    If someone truly thinks the world is flat you can logically explain why the world is round all you want, but that person won't believe you until you get him on an airplane and tell him that you are going to fly off the edge of the world with him, at which point he will see in due time you are flying around a globe.

    It's probably best to just let him see for himself than to do nothing else but work both him and yourself into a fit of rage.

  13. You still never told me what it was I should be doing other than being myself
  14. About nine months ago. He never admitted it, but I saw him come around within a week. So yeah, it's rare... but probably not as rare as we think, because of pride.

    Or you could take him to the beach, and watch sailboats appear sail-first over the horizon.
  15. "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    While this quote is obviously specific to Christian claims, I find it quite appropriate.

  16. Oh, I didn't even know you were directing that question at me earlier... sorry.

    In short, nothing, although I will send you a pm if you are seeking guidance.


  17. That too.

  18. #18 Kardredor, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
    I'm not, but if you truly believe there are other things I should be doing, in which you are criticizing my being (which you just stated you try not to, so it must've been one of those rare occurrences), then I'm very interested in what you have to share with me. Which, I would then be looking for guidance, so it's a beautiful thing either way.

    So yea man, I'd appreciate the PM :)
  19. #19 thabosshogg, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011

    The reason I am confused is because MelT, not me, is the one who commented on your "just being" post. Obviously I am a propenent of "just being", and would never criticize your being.

    ....which is why I was a bit confused. I didn't even respond to your post in that thread, nor did I ever comment on it in any way.

    You can go look at the thread again (about the alchemical path) to verify that.
  20. Every person thinks differently.
    It would be just a little bit monotonous if we all thought in the same manner or all spoke from the same preconceived ideas, wouldn't you think? Of course you aren't concerned with monotony or what-have-you, because it's obvious you prize rationality and logic. Can you help that fact? I highly doubt it. I also highly doubt you are able to fully entertain in your mind the concept I am trying to convey. Your preconceptions may deny you that luxury. But it is not your fault. You can't help how your mind operates, and neither can the rest of the world. I don't ridicule or criticize you, laugh or giggle at you, or point out your stupidity. That would only point out my own ignorance.
    If you find someone explaining their perspective in a manner you can't understand, you do have the ability to take a note of that person and ignore him/her in the future Ie. Skipping their posts, As opposed to calling them out on their "stupidity." It won't change the way they view the world, it will only repress the communication of their viewpoint.
    If you find someone incorrectly explaining a concept that you are knowledgeable in, criticism isn't necessary. Simply explaining to the person why they're incorrect would clearly suffice.

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