12 June 2011


A.  Some ways of (mentally) reacting to disagreement:
  1. What an idiot.
  2. It’s remarkable how broad the spectrum of intelligence is.
  3. He only thinks that way because he hasn’t heard the truth yet.
  4. If I could just spend half an hour explaining the way things are, his opinions would be different.
  5. Some people are just opposed to Reason, and would rather torment themselves in an awful wasteland of sentiment and self-contradiction than hear the truth.
  6. I will pound him so low to the ground that he no longer has enough confidence to open his mouth.
  7. I hate arrogant assholes.
  8. No one understands what I mean.
  9. I wish other people were as smart as I am.
  10. I wish other people had the deep inner knowledge that I have.
  11. What a disagreeable person!
  12. I could bother to try and convince him, but he’s probably too self-assured to listen to reason, and really such a trivial point isn’t worth the effort in the first place.
  13. Such an interesting view of things!
  14. By his view, the world is very different.
  15. I hate parties.
B.  Some quick ways of shutting down an argument:
  1. Total agreement (feigned if necessary; this is the easiest way to get most people to shut up)
  2. Sarcastic comment of unclear meaning
  3. Remark about how tedious “this sort of argument” has become.
  4. Reference to hopelessly obscure fact or authority that directly contradicts opponent’s reasoning (Nos. 2 and 4 are best used if the opponent wants to demonstrate his own learnedness, as people arguing for stupid claims usually do.)
  5. Repeat back the opponent’s conclusion while laughing and smiling condescendingly (Use where the opponent has low view of himself.)
  6. Condescending assurance of opponent’s error (“I know you don’t see it now, but eventually you’ll work it out.”)
  7. Laugh, pat opponent on back, and walk away
  8. Insulting aside to a third party (“Ronald here has decided to proclaim himself prince of the hobos!” [guffaw])
  9. Remark (covertly derogatory if necessary) about the opponent’s clothing or general appearance.
  10. Offer apologies that you don’t have enough energy to properly inform the opponent of how he’s wrong, and assure him that you will perform the exercise at a later date.
  11. Spontaneous question about the opponent’s educational history (“What did you say you studied in school?  Where?”)