I posted a Voltaire quote, and someone decided to challenge me on the concept of good and evil. Perhaps they had good intentions, but they lack the skills needed to effectively communicate their ideas, namely civility. Showing their mistakes isn't an attempt to shame or embarass them (which is why I will refer to them as COMMENTER here), but rather to help them (and anyone else reading this) understand why they will not see much success using this approach.
Here's the image I posted that prompted this.
Now believe it or not, plain ol' text can have a tone to it. It was simple, minimal, and demanding. It demanded I define "good." Sensing I was being baited, I told them to use their definition of "good" instead of my own. Of course, they couldn't let me get away with that, but what I was doing was trying to draw out their intentions, and it worked.
COMMENTER: Define "good".
ME: I believe your definition of good will do for what Voltaire is trying to say.
Now here's where things go wrong. Arrogance may impress some people, but I'm not one of them.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater I don't bother with the concept of good and bad. It's too simple to be true and it's bifurcation logical fallacy.
So, again, I repeat, Define "good".
yes, I'm intending to show you and everyone else that you have no idea what you're talking about. At the same time I'm trying to teach you how to think and yes you need lessons.
Apparently, this comment wasn't insulting enough, so less than a minute later...
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater you have no value to me. I've proven what was necessary.
Now maybe I'm not that smart, but I didn't see him prove anything, did you? It's as if he expected me not to respond after less than a minute, and declared victory. I continued on, trying to define "good" in the context of Voltaire's quote. Then, I adopted my own condescending tone. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
ME: In the context of this quote, I believe Voltaire is referring to deeds done to help a fellow human or perhaps even society as a whole. This deed could be simple charity, or teaching a fellow human a skill that will help them prosper. It could even be defending someone else's rights.
ME: I can't wait for you to teach me a lesson, I love learning! I hope you won't keep me in suspense too long!
After a considerable amount of time, I decided this bear needed to be poked one more time. The next image was included in the comment.
ME: Still waiting on those lessons you say I need.
Now the commenter has been triggered, or at least that's my interpretation of their 12 comment tirade. Now it's about hurting my feelings, or maybe it always was, but I don't emotionally invest myself in what strangers say online, so while my response may not have been seen (blocked and muted by commenter), I still think it was appropriate. You'll see it after I dissect his rant.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater obviously you're mentally lazy and you think your opinions matter and you're a pathetic facetious debate troll but here you go, not like you're actually going to learn how to think in the first place but maybe someone else will appreciate this playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgYS5hso2hskzVqsqdZRQHRIiXRNpe3bC
Now, if he had just shared the playlist and moved on, it would've been aces. Too bad he had to hurl more insults in with it, and so the tirade begins.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater feigning skepticism in order to make yourself look intelligent? Just a subtle virtue signaling that's nothing more than trendy bandwagon bullshit.
you don't need skepticism when you just admit you have no idea what you're talking about in the first place. You just use skepticism as a cognitively biased motive to support your true objective which is high school debate team bullshit because you're brainwashed simpleton piece of shit.
And of course you aren't going to watch this because you're too much of a coward to face how absolutely bullshit your personality and behavior are but again, maybe somebody else will be interested. If they follow you, that's very unlikely. But at least a bunch of you fucking retards come out of the woodwork and I can block you preemptively. https://youtu.be/mFx7jnNRkPI
Of course, I find it ironic that this guy desperately wants me to think he knows what he's talking about, while saying you don't need skepticism when you can admit you don't know. Why else would he adopt such an authoritarian and condescending tone? Once again he'd be better off sharing the video and keeping it civil, but he's just getting started.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater there is no debate here. I am your intellectual better. If you want to be of facetious piece of shit then all I'm going to do shit on you. Waste my time and pretend you know what you're talking about and then I know you're a fucking asshole.
Keep in mind who initiated this conversation, it wasn't me. I just posted a quote that I like, and now somehow I'm wasting his time?
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater ambiguous language is inefficient and other people interpret the concept of good and bad very differently. The words have almost no value anymore because you fucking morons keep on giving it infinite definitions driving its ambiguity through the roof.
They certainly have value to me, because like everyone else (apparently except this guy) I have opinions on what is good and what is bad. It's pretty simple, good is helping people, bad is hurting them. I guess that's too complex for some to wrap their heads around.
COMMENTER: Everything you share as a celebration of mediocrity which means you're pissing on actual brilliance... but I'm just arrogant right?
Let's see, he said he was going to teach me a lesson, and teach me how to think as if I don't already. He also falsely declared he provided proof, and hurled insults as if I'm not even a human being. Yeah, that's arrogant in my book. By the way, I think arrogance is "bad" not "good." Be sure to scroll my channel so you can see what he thinks a celebration of mediocrity is.
COMMENTER: Keep telling yourself that. Whatever helps you to delude yourself into a false sense of security, trivialize me and ignore the fact that I'm right.
Again, there's no fucking debate here. I'm out right telling you what the truth is. Figure out why it's true and stop wasting everyone's time. Grow up, child. Infantile adults? Fake as fuck Pretender.
He's right, there is no debate because he's the only one talking at this point.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater as soon as you arbitrarily Define what good is you create bad that will be nothing but an arbitrary opinion. It makes you and everyone else delusional and a fanatical liability. Everything you think is reasonable is too simple to be true. your opinions don't fucking matter.
My opinion doesn't matter? Well, then it stands to reason that his doesn't either, and that's all he's really expressed so far.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater do you have any evidence or is the only thing you worship arguments over opinions?
I suppose you can just define "opinion" anyway you want as well, right? You can just claim that your opinion is actually a fact, right? Fucking delusional simpleton.
opinion plus opinion equals you're a fucking moron.
All of you 14 to 20 something year olds are a liability. Pretending your opinions matter, oversaturating the market for our attention, drowning us all and a retard Orchestra playing diarrhea of the mouth Title Wave, destroying democracy, making freedom of speech impossible because the only thing that's ever spoken are your trendy bullshit celebrations of mediocrity.
Fucking kill me now. I know, I'm just a ball of joy.
Isn't that interesting. If this were a conversation instead of a tantrum in which he took his ball and went home at the end, I could've challenged him to show anywhere that I presented my opinion as fact. Sadly that's not what this is now, so he'll continue his rant from atop a soapbox.
COMMENTER: Concepts like good and bad are a mental prison and every time you speak of it we are further and further away from anything resembling free speech.
When we try to declare what we love we create hate by default, hate that would have never existed.
Love is hate, good is bad. Positive and negative exist at the same time in all complex equations in reality.
I have to jump in here to point out how Orwellian this statement is. Maybe he never read 1984.
COMMENTER: Most thoughts that are popularized are like the AIDS virus or a cancerous mass spreading through the mass awareness. The majority do not share the complex logical facts of any matter, all the majority share are overly simplified half-truths and all out lies.
I would've been open to any evidence he had that I was part of this majority he loathes, but once again, this isn't a debate anymore (his choice).
COMMENTER: So funny that people claim to be free thinkers or have their own opinions and then repeat the same stupid fucking logically flawed, cognitively biased bullshit that 90% of the population spouts. This platform supposed to be dedicated to free speech? What free speech? All I see are people using weaponized psychology on themselves and others to create a mental prison.
Most people would've censored this jackass and blocked him by now, but I believe in free speech, so....
COMMENTER: A bunch of infantile adults and naive children using politics and other arbitrary taxonomy to delude themselves into believing that they know what they are.
I believe I am a man. It's a shame I couldn't ask for evidence to the contrary.
COMMENTER: Witness the proof that democracy is a failed experiment, freedom of speech has never existed and likely never will and the beginning of the downfall of civilization.
Again, what proof? He's done nothing but rant, rave, and hurl insults not just at me but everyone on the thread.
COMMENTER: I guess intelligence doesn't matter anymore. Intelligent people everywhere should just kill themselves because all that matters are the majority's borderline retarded opinions.
I don't endorse suicide personally, but I suppose it's everyone's right to decide to die one way or another. I get the majority thing though. As a libertarian I'm quite outnumbered in my home country. This could've given us common ground if it were presented with civility.
COMMENTER: The only way anybody wins a popularity contest on social media is by being fake. Being an enabler. Honesty has become a crime.
That hasn't been my experience here. I'm thoroughly honest with everyone here, and my channel still seems to thrive.
COMMENTER: I'd after Fame humility and pretend like people's opinions are valuable enough to argue over, be an enabler and protect them from their insecurities in order to win this pathetic popularity contest on social media.
I really don't know what he's getting at here, but he's clearly triggered beyond the ability to proofread. I can only guess he meant "I'd rather feign humility" instead of "I'd after Fame humility."
COMMENTER: Not your social media personality, apparently. I'm going to retain my integrity by being completely honest all the time. Absolutely everybody is manipulating people. It's disgusting.
Again, no evidence, just declarations based on nothing. You have to hand it to him though, after accusing me of virtue signaling he's doing the same thing by explaining how he'll retain his integrity.
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater and just FYI, I'm not here just for you to use as an intellectual punching bag like the pathetic debate junkie drug addict that you are.... you fucking pathetic no life needy piece of shit, bitching because I don't answer you immediately, bitching and whining because I won't play your pathetic fucking game of high school debate team bullshit and sophistry? LMAO
What he called bitching and whining I call holding someone accountable for what they've said. He threw down the gauntlet, and now he's mad that I picked it up?
COMMENTER: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater now youre going to delude yourself, paint me the villain, desperately cry for village idiots to help you burn the modern-day intellectual heretic or you'll say anything you can imagine in order to goad me into playing your pathetic game of high school debate team bullshit or pretending that your opinions matter at all. Not going to happen. You're blocked the thread is muted. Get to work.
Now, he finally gets something partially right here, I did goad him, because at this point he's a fool for my amusement. He's clearly raging and emotional over something he himself started, and I didn't feel compelled to do anything but egg him on for entertainment value. Of course he took his ball and went home because he knew he wouldn't get his way.
ME: So, no lesson then?
At this point, a different commenter (@URButthurt) finally chimes in, and this is where we learn the lesson people, so read it well.
@URButthurt: @TeaFlavoredHarborWater Yeah, I think the 12 comments in a row may be an indication you've triggered your would-be teacher. There's still a lesson here though. If you treat people like shit and then cry because they called you on your bullshit for 12 straight comments you might end up looking like a pathetic asshole.I have to agree, not too many people would have the patience to put up with that kind of abuse in order to "learn a lesson" whether it was a legitimate one or not. If you really want to convince people, you're going to need tact, respect, and even manners depending on who you're trying to convince. What happened here was mental masturbation on the commenters part, and nothing more. Perhaps he'll influence someone curious enough to click on his links, but the chances of that grow slimmer the further down the thread they read.
Authoritarianism and arrogance do work on a lot of people (see President Trump), but this is not a technique I'd recommend on a platform like Minds. There are many users here that are refugees from platforms with heavy censorship of anti-authoritarian ideas. I'm one of them. I'm also not noble and virtuous enough to let someone shit on me constantly without retaliating. Believe it or not this same person attacked one of my subscribers in another thread the same way, and told them they'd just have to adapt to the abuse. I stepped in and pointed out their hypocrisy, and after that they fell silent. I don't let people do that to me physically, why would I allow it mentally? Why would anyone?