• Xtrix
    2.1k
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?

    They're immune to facts and they will not change their minds no matter what happens, which is interesting psychologically. But should we engage for the sake of others who are rational yet "on the fence"?

    I struggle with this.

    [Edit: I added flat earthers to the original list.]
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?

    They're immune to facts and they will not change their minds no matter what happens, which is interesting psychologically. But should we engage for the sake of others who are rational but "on the fence"?

    I struggle with this.
    Xtrix

    I've engaged with all these types of people. I've always tried to do it with respect for their intelligence and motivations and to treat them civilly. I think many of them are pushed into more extreme claims by the fact that there seems to be no room for moderate positions in the current political season. It's not often I convince anyone, but sometimes I feel like the discussion has opened us both up to compromise. I have even found myself convinced, or at least had my opposition softened, by other people's arguments.
  • Xtrix
    2.1k


    Then you're a more mature man than I am. I struggle with it because of the stakes. Climate change and COVID are good examples. This level of ignorance is dangerous. In the past, I have been much more reasonable and civil -- even online, when it comes to issues of abortion, war, taxes, elections, etc. But we're in a new phase of ignorance, one that effects all of us and the future of the planet. So compassion fatigue sits in.

    Since there's no point in pretending to have a rational discussion with irrational ignorance, I imagine the reason for doing so is for those who are watching and listening.
  • bert1
    907
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?Xtrix

    It depends what you want in life, I guess, but for me, yes. Sometimes people who you think are nuts turn out to be right. It's healthy and productive to see people as individuals, all with different unique constellations of views, some rational, others not. It can get a bit us-and-them if we group populations according to their views and dismiss individuals within that group because of their group membership.

    Also, the things mentioned are all different. You don't have to pick a team here and accept them all or reject them all. I, for example, have not come across anything to suppose that the virus is anything other than what it appears to be, and that vaccines are probably broadly safe, at least safer than the disease, and we should probably all get vaccinated for the good of everyone. Regarding the ninth of November, on the other hand, I think the physical evidence for controlled demolition is completely overwhelming. To even begin to change my mind on that I'd need to see a plausible explanation for the collapse of building 8 minus 1 - office conflagration isn't plausible. This isn't even a conspiracy theory. It's a physical theory based on observations; I have absolutely no idea who, how or why someone would do that. And the kind of creationism that is based on taking creation myths and stories literally seems completely baseless and contradicted by evidence.

    So while the populations that hold these views might overlap considerably, they are different views, and can, and I suggest should, be approached separately. However when I am tired and frustrated, I do fall into lazily grouping people together, and I do hate these groups when my head is fuzzy and they all look the same from a distance. If I had to pick a team, I'd pick yours, but I'd self-destruct it as soon as we won the game.
  • James Riley
    1.7k
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?Xtrix

    It's somewhat like morbid curiosity: we are drawn to it, even though we probably shouldn't be. Where you see a wreck on the side of the road and you slow down to see the ruined lives, you can also slow down on the interwebs to see the ruined mind. You can even engage it, like staring at a dead body, try some CPR but ultimately knowing it's dead and you end up wondering where the soul or the self or the brain went. But in the end, it's best to try to overcome your baser instincts and move on. There will be others, behind you, doing the same. Few, if any, will say "Gee, I wish that was me! I like that way that looks and the way everyone stares at him/her. I want that!"
  • baker
    2.5k
    I struggle with it because of the stakes.Xtrix
    The problem aren't those other people and whatever stances they hold or the things they do. The problem is that you take for granted that you're entitled to live in a safe world that is obligated to accomodate you.
  • James Riley
    1.7k
    I struggle with it because of the stakes.Xtrix

    The problem is those other people and the stances they hold and the things they do that take for granted that they are entitled to live in a safe world that is obligated to accommodate them.

    They are inconsiderate, disrespectful and selfish. It's all about them. They are afraid of a shot. They think they should be able to run around like nothing is wrong as they spread their filthy disease.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Regarding the ninth of November, on the other hand, I think the physical evidence for controlled demolition is completely overwhelming.bert1

    What qualifies you to judge in this matter? Are you a structural engineer? If the evidence were so overwhelming it would be obvious to all structural engineers, and the cat would be out of the bag.
  • bert1
    907
    If the evidence were so overwhelming it would be obvious to all structural engineers, and the cat would be out of the bag.Janus

    It is, and it is. But that's not the primary focus of the thread.
  • James Riley
    1.7k
    Regarding the ninth of November, on the other hand, I think the physical evidence for controlled demolition is completely overwhelming. To even begin to change my mind on that I'd need to see a plausible explanation for the collapse of building 8 minus 1 - office conflagration isn't plausible.bert1

    Off topic, but please educate this neophyte: Why speak obliquely instead of using the date and building number conventionally used? Am I out of the loop on something?
  • Janus
    10.7k
    How do you know the evidence is overwhelming if you are not a structural engineer? If the evidence is so overwhelming then why is the truth not acknowledged? The cat is not out of the bag; if it were then we would all know the truth.
  • bert1
    907
    Why speak obliquely instead of using the date and building number conventionally used? Am I out of the loop on something?James Riley

    Oh, I don't know. I got the impression that discussing this openly on the forum is not welcome, not totally sure why. If some nutcase was doing a search for discussions to troll, maybe they would miss this thread. Just thought I'd disguise it a bit. I'm probably being silly.
  • Xtrix
    2.1k
    The problem aren't those other people and whatever stances they hold or the things they do.baker

    Yes, that’s a very significant problem actually. Not just for me, but the future of the planet.

    The problem is that you take for granted that you're entitled to live in a safe world that is obligated to accomodate you.baker

    I take neither for granted.
  • frank
    8.5k
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?Xtrix

    You know what it's like to be personally invested in an issue. How open are you to looking at evidence that you're wrong? Having discussed things with you in the past, I'd say not very. So is it a waste if time to engage you?

    Sometimes it's worth it to ask yourself what your motivation really is.
  • tim wood
    7.7k
    My question almost exactly. But for your "these people" I had a different locution.

    My take is that they're sick in some way, even if just the sickness of stupidity. But at the same time excessively interacting with them close to a pathology of its own. We do indeed have "these people" on site and certainly out there in the world. But they have to me at least demonstrated their imperviousness to any and all kinds of reason. That is, I'm not going to enlighten them.

    At worst the worst of adjectives properly apply. And that leaves the question, are such people necessarily part of the price of living in a free society?
  • baker
    2.5k
    Are you at peace with the fact (or at least the option) that you're living in a dangerous world?
  • baker
    2.5k
    At worst the worst of adjectives properly apply. And that leaves the question, are such people necessarily part of the price of living in a free society?tim wood

    Throughout history, men of great acumen and power have devised final solutions to such problems ...
  • baker
    2.5k
    Sometimes it's worth it to ask yourself what your motivation really is.frank

    Yes.
  • Xtrix
    2.1k


    Depends on what that means, of course. I accept it as a fact, and willing to fight against those who wish to destroy the world, even if it’s through their dangerous ignorance.
  • baker
    2.5k
    My take is that they're sick in some way, even if just the sickness of stupidity.tim wood
    Goshdarn, righteous indignation is the best feeling there is!!!
  • Xtrix
    2.1k


    You seem to be taking this personally. That’s a dead giveaway.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1k
    Is it even worth it to engage with these people?Xtrix

    Not worth it, for they are stuck in their notions from thoughts that so often fired together that they became very strongly wired together. It shows a fixed will to the nth degree as well as an inhibited learning disability that prevents a new and wider range of will to form beyond the stuck notion.

    What we get out of it is the knowing of this trait being able to be so in human nature.

    In the case of not wearing masks and not getting vaccinated, it's even the simplest of science that can't be understood, so no wonder that great stuckness is prevalent in many less simple areas, too.

    So, they will die, but at least evolution has this new opening to rid us of stupid people.
  • baker
    2.5k
    My point is that as long as one is looking for happiness outside, one is going to be faced with an endless amount of problems. Even if you were to opt for the final solution (as some in the past did) and executed it in full (as those in the past haven't succeeded), so that you'd be left only with like-minded people, you'd still be living on a planet where there are volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, dangerous animals, unwelcome genetic mutations, limited natural resources, and at that a planet that is on collision course with some asteroids, in a solar system whose sun will eventually explode. IOW, living on such a planet and looking for happiness outside, you'd still be miserable.
  • baker
    2.5k
    Do you disagree that righteous indignation is a great feeling?
  • Janus
    10.7k
    So, I take it you don't enjoy your life at all, or at least not very much?

    Do you disagree that righteous indignation is a great feeling?baker

    Well, sounds like you enjoy righteous indignation at least. It's an acquired taste; you have to bracket off the great annoyance caused by what you are indignant about or else it's more aggravating than enjoyable I'd say..
  • 180 Proof
    5.6k
    Anti-Vaxxers, Creationists, 9/11 Truthers, Climate Deniers, Flat Earthers ... Is it even worth it to engage with these people?Xtrix
    For me, I engage them only in the company of a third party or audience, not to persuade them but to expose the falsity of such claims before witnesses and hopefully to provoke others to question prevalent, uninformed gossip, conventional wisdom and stupifying conspiracies. Like a good gadly, I try to plant seeds of doubt in as many heads as the occasion allows. 'Shaming stupidity' (or rodeo-clownin' the bulls***) is how I roll online as well as off. :smirk:
    Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. — Gilles Deleuze
  • James Riley
    1.7k
    For me, I engage them only in the company of a third party or audience, not to persuade them but to expose the falsity of such claims before witnesses and hopefully to provoke others to question prevalent, uninformed gossip, conventional wisdom and stupifying conspiracies. Like a good gadly, I try to plant seeds of doubt in as many heads as the occasion allows. 'Shaming stupidity' (or rodeo clownin' the bulls***) is how I roll online as well as off. :smirk:
    Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful.
    — Gilles Deleuze
    180 Proof

    I think I like that. I'm not so sure, but since it made me think, there must be something to it. I mean, "clownin' the bulls***"? That's some gold right there. And without a barrel! That's old school. :strong:
  • T Clark
    6.3k
    Then you're a more mature man than I am. I struggle with it because of the stakes. Climate change and COVID are good examples.Xtrix

    That means that conversations with those with whom you have disagreements become more important. That it becomes more important that you find a way to find common purpose with them. The great majority of people in the US share a core set of values. Mainstream, moderate, more or less pragmatic, sometimes idealistic.

    Saying you're not mature enough to work with that is a pretty poor excuse given your apparent sense of impending doom.
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    My point is that as long as one is looking for happiness outside, one is going to be faced with an endless amount of problems. Even if you were to opt for the final solution (as some in the past did) and executed it in full (as those in the past haven't succeeded), so that you'd be left only with like-minded people, you'd still be living on a planet where there are volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, dangerous animals, unwelcome genetic mutations, limited natural resources, and at that a planet that is on collision course with some asteroids, in a solar system whose sun will eventually explode. IOW, living on such a planet and looking for happiness outside, you'd still be miserable.baker

    Well, I never took you for an optimist. This reads like early Woody Allen.

    And yet despite everything you say there I have known many people who are happy and found happiness readily achievable. And they weren't rich or powerful. They just went about their business taking an interest in some matters and not others, working, raising a family, gardening, reading and finding humor in many things. And sure, it's hard to do this is a warzone or when sick, but frankly it isn't impossible.
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