Saturday, May 26, 2007

Doggerel #90: "Bashing"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

It's quite common for woos to accuse skeptics of 'bashing' their point of view. The definition of that word is quite flexible, but the one I'm most familiar with from context describes criticism that is often irrelevant, pointless, and generally nonconstructive. So far, when it comes to woo versus skeptic threads, 'bashing' seems to undergo a reversal. Or rather, more likely, the woos involved are being hypocritical.

The following seems to qualify as 'bashing' from the typical woo's point of view: Pointing out documented cases of woo causing harm. Pointing out logical fallacies. Pointing out absurd consequences if their woo was true. Pointing out contradictions. Pointing out abusive comments made by woos. Pointing out that their woo is like other woo. Asking fundamental questions.

What this doggerel does is it allows the user to ignore criticism by pretending that it doesn't have any content. There's a big difference between, say, this, and "Anime is teh suck!" By ignoring that difference, the woo can pretend we're just posting "Astrology is teh suck!" rather than elaborate criticisms, calls for tests, suggestions for test protocols, and so forth.


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