Have we as a society lost the ability to debate? Not arguing -- debating. It seems like whenever you attempt to engage someone on political debate anymore, they immediately do one or more of the following:
- Attack your integrity. They'll brand you a liar without providing any evidence, references, or proof.
- Attack your intellect. Obviously, if you disagree with them you're an idiot.. They'll deny your capacity for independent thought by saying you've been brainwashed or are as stooge of some person or organization. While they're at it they'll probably accuse you of being poorly educated or cursed with a low IQ.
- Attack your motivation. If all else fails they'll accuse you of having no interest in debate and say that you're bent on a mission of personal destruction for some external political agenda.
- Label you. This is where the names ar e introduced to try to diminish your credibility by trying to pigeonhole you as someone whose voice shouldn't count because you're a troll, bigot, whatever.
- Blame it all on Bush or global warming (which, by the way, is Bush's fault) and connect it to the war in Iraq. Ever notice that arguing with some people is like playing six degrees of separation?
What they WON"T do is actually construct a syllogism to refute the points you raise. They flat out won't/can't answer the mail. I once asked a guy what, in his opinion, constituted a "just" war that would justify use of military force. We went back and forth forever as he dodged and launched into every form of personal attack possible -- but absolutely would not form or express his own opinion on a simple topic at hand.
I know it's not just me, because you see the same tactics employed on the news all the time. Rather than answer the mail, they'll attack the mailman in an attempt to nullify it. Is this just intellectual laziness, or have we as a society become too shallow to be able to actually debate issues at hand?