Many years ago, during the formative years of the internet, I was a staunch advocate of its potential as a powerful medium for the everyday individual.
This was a time before the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and various chat forums.
I was of the belief that the internet, with its accessible publishing tools, could empower the common person to disseminate effective and uplifting messages, independent of established publishing entities or alternative media platforms.
Regrettably, the evolution of this digital revolution did not align with my initial expectations. Today, we are inundated with an excess of armchair philosophers and commentators.
While I still champion everyone’s right to express their opinions, I am disheartened by the increasing prevalence of personal attacks and verbal abuses exchanged under the banners of religion, politics, fashion, science, or any other subject matter.
What is particularly alarming is the evident lack of empathy or self-restraint, as displayed through the rampant trend of name-calling and personal assaults.
Attributing this to any particular perspective or opinion that one disagrees with, the unfortunate truth remains: the situation will likely worsen before any signs of improvement.
So, how should one engage in discourse with individuals resorting to personal attacks and name-calling when faced with disagreement?
Initially, it is crucial to recognize that resorting to name-calling or diverting from the core of the discussion is often the tactic of an uninformed individual. Lacking any substantial arguments, they reduce the conversation to attacking the individual rather than addressing the issue.
The term “ad hominem”, a Latin phrase meaning “to the person”, refers to this fallacious strategy. It involves avoiding the substantive discussion at hand by attacking the character, motive, or other attributes of the individual making the argument rather than confronting the argument itself. Originally, this term referred to an argument designed to appeal more to the individual being addressed rather than impartial reason.
This faulty line of reasoning, categorized as an informal fallacy or more precisely as a genetic fallacy, distracts from the real issues at hand.
In essence, initiating a debate by hurling insults like ‘hater’, ‘loser’, ‘Dem’, ‘Nazi’, or any other derogatory term, is undoubtedly the quickest way to lose credibility in a discussion. Even if you’re correct in your stance, resorting to personal affronts not only disqualifies you from the debate but also highlights your own intellectual shortcomings and character flaws.
Instead, present your counterpoints logically, explaining why you disagree with the point or argument at hand. Then, proceed to articulate why you hold a different belief. This approach fosters constructive discourse and demonstrates respect for differing viewpoints.
Author: Brian Carrillo
Based in Los Angeles, CA, Brian embodies a seasoned business development savant and a skilled digital writer and publisher. With an entrepreneurial journey spanning forty years in sales and business growth, his proficiency and insights are indeed remarkable.
If you’re keen on exploring how social media could amplify and enhance your online visibility and product or service reach, we’re just a phone call or email away. We’re eager to help you discover new pathways to transcend your present accomplishments.