Over the years, I’ve had some very frustrating arguments with people. I don’t always find arguments frustrating; sometimes I feel that the exchange of differing viewpoints helps everyone to grow. Sometimes I feel that I’ve learned something about the way that people with different value systems perceive the world. Sometimes, I even change my mind. So why is arguing with some people annoyingly frustrating?
I sort of intuitively knew that it was because I knew that I’d never be able to change their mind. I think that was the frustration: no matter what I said, they’d still go on telling me that I was deluded, that I hadn’t thought about the issue, that I was a victim of groupthink, that I was a left wing stooge, that I was a right wing apologist, that I was thinking like everyone else, that I was one of the few who thought like that, it was the chemicals in the water, it was the fact that I didn’t drink enough water! Whatever, they’d never feel the need to even consider the possibility that I might be right… Or at least, closer to being right than they were.
But listening to Malcolm Roberts over the past few months, it’s become even clearer to me what’s so frustrating about arguing with certain people. Now, I suspect that at times, we’re all guilty of this but Malcolm has turned into an art form. Basically, the thinking goes like this:
1. I know that X is a fact.
2. Because it’s a fact, I don’t need to prove it.
3. If you don’t believe that X is a fact, then it’s up to you to disprove it, because it’s up to the person arguing against facts to produce the evidence.
4. When you produce evidence I can ignore it because it’s clearly manufactured by people who don’t believe that X is a fact. Therefore, it can be ignored because if it comes from people who don’t believe that X is a fact, then they’re either brainwashed, part of the evil forces trying to peddle Y as a fact, or just plain stupid.
5. When I’m asked to produce evidence about X, I don’t need to because it’s clearly a fact. After all, you couldn’t produce evidence to disprove it without resorting to the lies put out by people who want to spread disinformation. You’ve clearly been brainwashed and are incapable of thinking for yourself.
6. Of course, not that I need to, but I can produce evidence in the form of anecdotes and links to various websites and there’s no need for me to worry about a conflict of interest because it’s only people who are interested who’d bother to investigate something.
7. No, no. Only people who agree with me are worth listening to, so I think that it’s time you just admitted the truth and gave up!
Now the thing about this, is that it’s impossible to fault. I’m serious. Once you replace X with almost anything, you’ll see how it works. Try vaccination! And just to be even handed, try it from the perspective of an anti-vax person, then try it from someone who believes that vaccinations are worth it. Try climate change. Try Donald Trump’s presidency…
Not that Donald Trump is president!
I mean, it’s a fact that the real powers in the USA had already appointed Hillary and, because of concerns about a possible revolt from those who wanted her jailed for her work with Russia, they created a reality show and used Trump to provide such an entertaining distraction that nobody cares about what the US is actually doing any more.
No, I don’t need to prove it. It’s a fact, I told you!
All right, can you disprove it without resorting to quoting the people behind the charade? You can? Not by resorting to the media. They’re the ones behind it, after all. Oh, no not him, either… He’s one of the architects of the whole thing. Just ask Monica about this… If you can find her… No, I don’t mean the person who’s pretending to be her… the real Monica. No, the one who was interviewed looks a whole lot older.
Look, if you don’t believe me, here’s a link to a website that was taken down by the CIA because it was too close to the truth. Come on, be reasonable, weren’t you all saying Trump could never be President, why I even remember someone telling me that they’d never allow Trump to be President and this was just to ensure that Hillary would take power. You were right and now we’re watching the “POTUS – Reality show, who’ll be fired this week?”
See, it’s easy!
So remember the simple seven point plan at the next family occasion where you have to deal with someone who tells you that they’d join Bernardi’s new party if only he’d thought to register it before he announced that he was leaving the Liberal Party. (I know that he established the name. He doesn’t have any way of allowing people to join yet… Mm, perhaps that’s his plan to ensure that he isn’t taken over by left-wingers like Turnbull, Pyne and Abbott…) Start with your fact, then just follow the plan and watch the person who normally gives you stress become the one to get all angry and frustrated…
Good luck. It’ll work – that’s a fact.
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