Why Can’t We Have a Reasoned Discussion?


Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that were not all from the same cookie cutter? We are all different and have diverse life experiences, but there seem to still e some hanging around, as skeptics, that will not tolerate a difference of opinion, no matter what the subject happens to be.

I was perusing my Twitter timeline, where I was in a conversation with a couple of other people about some so-called skeptics that don’t seem to represent skepticism very well. These are the people I was referring to that will have no disagreement with any position they take on anything. Tiresome, and as I said, not very skeptical.

We have in the past referred to them as Social Justice Warriors or SJWs. Some in the timeline preferred not to use that terminology as they considered it a slur against someone else, but what else would we refer to them as? Well, I’ve often referred to them as  because that’s where their social justice credentials begin and end – at the keyboard.

They’re always calling out someone else for their behavior, or their words, but never stop to think they are doing the exact same thing. They would never do what they write in tweets or blog posts in person. If someone is truly passionate about a subject, they wouldn’t limit their disdain or scorn to just writing about it, they may, if and when they actually see the person, confront them directly. No, they run away from any kind of personal  engagement on any issue and sit behind their keyboards trying to smear others.

It’s a cowardly way of acting and it does nothing to advance good intellectual discussion over possibly some difficult topics and of course just reinforces those with poor arguments that all the opposition seems to be able to do is ad hominem attacks instead of honestly addressing something that may enlighten the rest of us.

I thought for a long time that the schism was over; I think I was wrong. 

11 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Have a Reasoned Discussion?

  1. Agreed! Timely article. SJW’s will eat/attack their own if they don’t completely follow their agenda on every talking point. SJW’s are very similar to far right fundamental Christianity in this way.


    • I haven’t been paying much attention to the whole “schism” in quite a while and had thought, because I don’t see much of it online, thought it had been put to rest, finally. Was I wrong! If anything, it appears in some ways to have become worse. Some of the most reasonable skeptics that I once admired have fallen into the trap and instead of being moderating voices, have joined into the vitriol of the regressives.


  2. Everything changed with advances in social media; Face Book, Twitter, etc. It was bad enough before with forum message boards and email message boards, but now in the age of the smart phone and rapid fire forums that are full tilt 24/7…the chaos of uncivil discourse is thundering.

    Half or more of the youth growing up in this chaos have never been taught manners and certainly not civil discourse or debate protocol…except maybe in schools for the wealthy, both public and private.

    The high school teacher that would suggest such discourse in a typical public classroom is liable to get a riot on his or her hands and censure from the supervisor. Can you imagine such a scenario?

    It won’t “get better” until we experience a cataclysmic event that disrupts internet and wireless phone service. I am not wishing for an EMP of any sort, but I think that is what it would take to halt the trend.

    Heavy sigh…


    • Most of us sit in the chasm as observers of this nonsense and allow it to continue, without comment. We need more voices to stand up for reason and if that drives away others, so be it.


  3. Well…that sounds lovely, but it isn’t. It takes lots of time and patience and a thick skin. Then you simply wear out after a while, because everything you write is picked apart and thrown back at you to justify or explain. The insults get continually worse, people label you a troll and you get gossiped about.

    Life is short. Time is precious. There is real-life work to do and children and grandchildren to enjoy. You tend to get cranky and stressed and your spouse picks up on it and starts to question your need to continue to bother with trying to debate with people you don’t know, probably don’t even like and who apparently dislike and disrespect you.

    So…you seek out a place where you can discuss and debate with more civil folk, who seem fairly intelligent and, if not like minded, are at least open to conversation with somebody like you.


  4. Jim, I think I have a suggestion about why we can’t have reasonable discussions, or at least why it is so difficult to achieve that goal.

    I want to go over this idea slowly and calmly so as to get as many people as possible to follow my line of reasoning.

    You see, the problem has its origins in the simple fact that

    (Crash) (Tinkle!) Ow! Hey! (zzaapp)


    • Ann, I have a post scheduled for tomorrow morning. A Call For Contriubotrs. I’d love it if you got a WP account and would blog here. Think about it. No pressure as to the amount, just write when you are able. Your voice is needed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s