In light of a recent commenter that I personally know making comments on OD I thought it pertinent to comment what not to debate with someone that will never agree with us.
My acquaintance is an intelligent man with a good sense of humor and considers himself to have valid enlightened opinions courtesy of a liberal education that can defeat this so-called racist ethno-nationalist nonsense we represent. You are probably familiar with the type.
Our cause is unique in a sense that it issues of Identity has ramifications that branch out into many different subjects like religion, art, science, and history. All of these topics have something to say about a persons Identity but in debates or arguments of current political importance the role of those topics is actually rather narrow.
I’m sure there will be some that disagree with me or will refuse to heed this advice. My articles are written for those that benefit from them and I don’t mean to tell people what they can or should do but offer practical tips that improve your debating style. I’m short on time so I’m just going to quickly overview what some of these are:
The endless debate over words and their meanings or the ignorance or misunderstanding of debaters in a political debate, is the argument of choice for sophomores. Debating about semantics is a straw man designed to take the conversation off topic on an irrelevant thread and score points with whoever it might be judging the merits of each side. The bottom line is don’t beguiled by attempts to sidestep the issues based on semantics.
Understanding the style and purpose of using words to win an argument is an essential life skill. The art of rhetoric will greatly help you understand when this is attempted against your statements.
I remember a book my dad got from a Church from a Pastor turned amateur dinosaur scientist who besides claiming the Earth is 6,000 years old insisted that the tyrannosaurus rex was a fire breathing dragon and he made comparisons to the fire breathing dung beetle to prove his case! Needless to say he was not hailed as a scientific genius.
There is a certain kind of racialist that loves science and pondering the meaning of the vast sets of data available today and I don’t blame them. I’m convinced this sort all had chemistry sets as kids and loved biology or physics in school. But here’s the deal with debating science: most people are ignorant of scientific facts of how it relates to human culture.
Attempting to educate people on the topic is a problem of education and a distraction from issues of political importance. Armchair scientists will never be able to educate the public on facts and figures to justify certain public policy decisions or why current policies need to be changed. You can try, but it won’t work in the long run.
I will make an appeal to science and argue that the public IQ is not high enough to understand that, nor is it likely ever to be! That’s why facts and figures about non white crime, so alarming and troubling to intelligent people, are glossed over by a liberal materialist argument that those crimes are due to poverty and racism rather than any inherent predilection of behavior. What they are doing (and have done, civilization wide!) is claim that their moral stance is of higher value than your science, touche! The end result is that scientific arguments will be trumped by moral ones, even as it appears to us today it comes down to destroying all the diversity of life on Earth as we know it.
Debating the truth or merit of a religion doesn’t belong in the debaters toolbox. Although there are people out there that will insist what religion you should or shouldn’t be- my family is full of them- debating if someone should or should not be of a particular religion won’t assist your arguments about social and political issues.
Everyone is going to have a religion or practice that is not approved of by others. The role of religion in a persons life however can and should be debated and the loyalties that a religion expects of its adherents should be discussed.
Here is an example of why this line of arguing is ineffective politically. Thesis: “Switzerland is traditionally a Christian country and should not allow Muslims to build Mosques.” Rebuttal: “Switzerland is a democratic country and protecting the rights of minorities is more important than the traditional role of Christianity in Switzerland.”
If the arguer of the thesis crouched his terms that were more in alignment with his real aim, he would argue instead “The national life of Switzerland is undermined by immigration.” The onus on the rebuttal is to prove how immigrants are not harmful to national life, something that would be very difficult to prove.
Discussions on issues of social and political importance often turn to history to explain why the problem exists. But for our purposes of winning hearts and minds to our cause, the problem of overemphasising historical events is great. The first issue when dealing with historical topics is that not everyone has a perfect or even functionally useful knowledge of past events. The result of this is that making claims about historical events that your listeners are ignorant of will in all likelihood fail to convince them of the truth of your argument. People’s views on social events are mostly visceral, instinctive, and prone to being guided by emotions rather than reason. Even those who claim that reason is the sole guiding influence of their opinions is either simply unaware of the emotional origin of their views, or using a rhetorical argument that their emotion-based views are based on reason and hence unassailable.
There are many that believe that America started its downward progression to annihilation since the election of Roosevelt and then there are those that argue it was actually Lincoln. But do you see where that line of reasoning brings us? A history debate, say between who was worse for our people, Lincoln or Roosevelt, does not matter to real world events we have to deal with today. You might as well debate about the existence of a fire breathing tyrannosaurus rex.
When you find yourself in a debate with a person that gets heated, preferably before it gets personal do this. Say “Stop. It’s clear that we could debate this issue for weeks straight and neither one of us are going to change our opinions. But you know what? that’s actually okay, I like a person that is not afraid to stand by their convictions. Maybe we can discuss this another time…”
Hopefully that can help short circuit any disagreement from becoming a permanent rift between you and another person.