5 Ways to Make Me Stop Listening

There is a phrase I have always loved:

“The mind is like a parachute – functions best when open.”

But I also appreciate it’s companion which is:

“Don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out.”

Over the past several weeks, there have been a ton of debate in the community. It has started out as one thing but morphed into a different debate sadly.  And what has made me shut off from the debate are the following debate tactics:

1. The No True Scotsman Fallacy:

In short, this logical fallacy goes like this:

” Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like a true Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge.”

I hate this one because Feminist love to use this against other women.  If you don’t agree with male privilege and how it contributes to rape culture, then you are not a true Feminist.  Yeah, that make me go “yep – your argument is not valid – move along.”

Look, there is no one right way to think or act or believe in order to accept a label.  Just because you think there should be rules or criteria for it, does not mean you are right.  Make a better argument instead of trying to force your criteria or “twue way” on someone else.

2. The Slippery Slope Fallacy:

I refer this to the Music Man logic.

” Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital “T”
That rhymes with “P”
And that stands for Pool,
That stands for pool.
We’ve surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…”

If you support a non-consensual hug, you support rape.  Uhm….no…..

If you call this drama, you are part of the problem.  Uhm, no….I think the topic is important but also think you are part of the problem.  That’s what it means.

And if you say crap like that, I immediately start singing the Music Man.  Because Pool = Trouble too.   Or so said the Music Man selling instruments to a city who didn’t realize they needed his brand snake oil until he pointed out there were problems that didn’t exist.

3. Black or White Fallacy

For example:

“Whilst rallying support for his plan to fundamentally undermine citizens’ rights, the Supreme Leader told the people they were either on his side, or they were on the side of the enemy.”

In a recent argument, someone actually said, “if you think this is drama, you are on the side of the rapists”.

Seriously?  Nothing in this world is black and white – to make it sound like I have to be on your side or I’m on the side of someone who is extreme and horrible is a bullshit argument.  This world is not black and white – there is gray all over the place.  And if I disagree with you, I can still disagree with the larger concept.   I just disagree with your logic or argument.  There IS a difference between the two.

4. Make the same argument – just louder.

If you are not changing your argument, but just being more emphatic about it – and I will no longer listen.  If you would like to argue on an issue, then let’s talk – let’s debate – let’s make arguments (plural) not fixate on one argument over and over and over again.  Then I stop arguing – and stop listening – so….just stop.  Argue better.

5.  Don’t listen.  Just keep going.  Don’t acknowledge a good point – or a valid argument.  Don’t be open to the idea that maybe you are listening.  Just keep talking as though you are the only opinion that matters.  Be like this – and I stop listening.  I won’t engage because you don’t want a discussion – you want a convert to your way of thinking.  And, well, that’s not happening.

I love to argue. I love to debate. And, with the right person, I find that I can broaden my perspective or view on a situation or event.  But with the wrong people, I close my mind and stop listening. I don’t want to be lectured. I don’t want to be told how I should be living my life – just like the other person doesn’t want to hear it either.  I believe that the only way to further any conversation is to listen more than you talk.  To go out of the way to find common ground of which both sides can agree.  Sure, I may walk away never being able to see why you are pro-life when it comes to abortion, but I respect you and your position – assuming you give me the same respect.

Those who are too busy being too open minded, instead, find their brains on the floor where it is like a hockey puck for those who are going to thrive off of the strife and debate.  And while that open minded person is fighting hard and harder to have their point heard, the not-so-nice are having fun at their expense.  Brain hockey, anyone?

What do you think?