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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Arguing like a liberal

After the recent sociopath alert about Al Sharpton, I got a comment from Glen Filthie in which he talked about racial differences and used the n-word.

I replied that while I don't disagree about group differences, the post wasn't about that, it was about Sharpton's character, and that character is not a matter of political stance. I also asked Glen not to use the n-word. I explained:

I'm in trouble enough for talking honestly about race and IQ, etc, without people pointing out that people on my site use the n-word. There's no point to it, it adds nothing to the discussion, and in fact once you use it, it means people who are sitting on the fence about various issues will stop listening to you.

I've always posted whatever comments people make, as long as they're relevant to the post -- and no matter how insulting they are to me. But use of the n-word is gratuitously ugly. I hate the hypocrisy and dishonesty shown by people like Sharpton, and I don't mind talking about group differences, especially as they impinge on public policy. I'll even make fun of black given names. But I don't hate anyone because of his race, and using a term like that insults all the members of a race.

Likewise, I never use the c-word to describe radical feminists, because that would insult all women, not just the feminists. And I try to steer clear of using the f-word to describe anything other than a bundle of burning embers.

Actually, all of these words are a little like calling someone a "fucking asshole." All it does is express your anger and expose your lack of eloquence. If you're really angry with someone, it's far better -- and more stinging -- to explain exactly why you feel that way about him.

Glen replied here (I'll leave you to judge the accuracy of what each of us said). His conclusion:

I'll leave you with the last word, John. Unfortunately you seem to be another intellectual poseur that is actually more politically correct and less objective and intelligent than he would care to admit.

It's actually sort of ironic -- I expect personal insults from liberals, it's how they argue. I expect it from women, too, as a high percentage of them seem unable to argue without resorting to ad hominem attacks. (I know one woman who loves to ask me about political subjects, but invariably will start talking over me as soon as I start to reply, and will just as invariably turn the argument into a personal attack; I avoid her as much as possible.)

But I generally don't expect it from conservatives. (At no point did I attack Glen personally, I merely took issue with what he said.)

In any case, I have received all sorts of insults on this blog.

I have had an Aspie accuse me of having Aspergers.

I have had a homosexual accuse me of being gay.

I have had a sociopath accuse me of being a sociopath.

And now, I have had Glen Filthie accuse me of being "an intellectual poseur that is more politically correct and less objective and intelligent than he would care to admit."



Anonymous said...

Try and not take his comments personally. I recently experienced something similar. Life is too short to dwell on such attacks. Breathe in, breathe out...


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Thank you. In fact, the comment did not bother me, I'm used to being attacked here now, and sometimes I even enjoy it, depending on who's doing the attacking and how they're doing it.

Spychiatrist said...

You're no poser John; you're simply a man with an opinion, and you express it.

Glen is wrong to accuse you of being otherwise, after all, this is your Blog and you do have the last comment, should you choose it. I've never seen you get snotty with anyone on here. You always comport yourself like a gentleman and you typically use good judgment when doing so. Glen should respect that. I suspect he's mad because you wouldn't give in on your opinion.

It's always wrong to demean an entire group of people using a pejorative. Of course there are blacks that act like n****rs, just like there are whites that act like maniacs and white trash.

John Craig said...

Spike --
Thank you. (I could actually feel my head starting to swell as I read your words.)

I can't say I've never demand any of the commenters, but I generally try to keep it civil. Although some of it depends on the tone they take.

But thanks.

lowly said...

I went on a field trip to the Porta Nigra once. Is that ok to say?

Steven said...

I think Glen is less intelligent and objective than he thinks but I don't think anyone can accuse him of being politically correct! This is a guy who once sincerely argued for the reintroduction of slavery, partially on the grounds that it would be better for black people.

That takes a monumental lack of regard for the rights of others. Presumably he wouldn't like to be a slave but its okay for other people, as long as they are black. I think I called it a failure of empathy at the time.

I think I made my mind up about him when I read that. He shows the same contempt and disregard for gay people.

There's a danger that you can think you're seeing the world unsentimentally as it is when really you're relating to it without enough love or empathy. How much you care about other people affects the conclusions you come to- it isn't all about logic. Its about value judgments and heart too. And I don't mean to just criticise Glen- I could certainly be more caring.

Mark Caplan said...

Many people, because of insufficient intelligence or education, aren't capable of intellectual give and take, or arguing disinterestedly over abstract concepts. For them, arguments immediately degenerate into personal combat, and anyone who disagrees with them must be odious and contemptible.

Anonymous said...

Is there any liberal politician you do not consider a "sociopath", mr. Craig?

You seem to be obsessed with handing out these diagnoses, despite your obvious lack of qualifications. Yet no prominent GOP politician ever gets characterized as such. Why is that?

John Craig said...

Mr. Anonymous Liberal --
You haven't been reading the blog for very long. I've characterized James Traficant, Joe Arpaio, and Newt Gingrich as sociopaths. Type those names into the subject line and you'll find the posts.

And of course there are plenty of liberal politicians who aren't sociopaths. When did I ever say there were not?

Why is is that there are so many liberals like you, however, who need to put words into other peoples' mouths in order to "win" an argument?

Anonymous said...

You don't strike me as a conservative John, you seem more like a libertarian. You aren't religious nor are you against gay marriage, abortions in all cases, or medical marijuana.

Also many conservatives are not race realists either, they are in as much denial over it as liberals, but for religious reasons since they deny evolution.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You're right, I'm more of a libertarian than a Republican. I generally only refer to myself as a "conservative" in the context of talking about where I stand vis-a-vis liberals.

But these days, the actual Libertarian Party stands for a lot of things I don't believe in, like open borders, so I don't like to identify myself that way, either. Really, the only reasonable thing for anybody to do is argue issues one by one.

Anyway, thanks for noticing.