Amid a blogosphere brimful of bickering and a polis rife with passions, Burgess Laughlin comes out on his own blog in favour of ... reasoned debate! What on earth?
In the last few years, I have frequently examined many advocacy websites. One of my purposes was to identify the manner in which the authors made their points. In some weblogs, one element of style stands out: insults to opponents. These writers call their opponents names such as: nutbars, nutjobs, morons, cowards, idiots, goat herders, ragheads, and scum. They also use adjectives such as: moronic, idiotic, stupid, nuts, crazy, loony, insane, delusional, and childish.
I plead guilty. Meanwhile, Laughlin continues.
Why do these writers [ie., me] use insults? Judging from their statements of purpose and the contents of their weblogs, these writers want the world around them to adopt certain views. Do these writers think that insulting their opponents will persuade their opponents to revise their values? I am not sure of the answer. I have only a "working hypothesis."?"
Answering for myself, I have two answers:
- Calling a spade a spade.
We're not having a debate in a university lunch room here. If I can entertain, inform and enlighten by using reason and emotion, then all the better for both my readership and my advocacy.
What say you, dear readers?
[Hat tip Objectivist Carnival at Rational Jenn's]