Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Worst Kind of Woo

Now that the warm fuzzies I got from the fireworks display have worn off, I have a foamy rant to get out.

Saw a (supposed) swarm of trolls at a thread about chiropractors earlier today. A number spouted "get a life" and variants of that doggerel near the front of their comments. I couldn't see straight enough to read the rest. In fact, I'm surprised I was able to write calmly for the corresponding Doggerel entry: One of the few things I hate more than evildoers are people who demand I be unemotional about injustice and ridicule us skeptics for displaying even the slightest bit of compassion.

These people have somehow accomplished the contradiction of being militantly apathetic.

It's bad enough when they laugh at me for caring about people who are cheated out of large sums of money by psychic frauds, the topic of this thread was alternative medicine. People have died needlessly at the hands of chiropractors who ended up causing strokes. Worse still, previous commentators had mentioned babies and children who were "treated" by chiropractors.

Sometimes I wonder if they point and laugh when people cry at funerals.

We criticize because we actually give a shit about what happens to our fellow sapient beings. We're capable of sympathy. When someone is deceived for another's profit and receives no benefit, we feel sorry for the victim. We're fallible, just like they are, and we can conceive of the same happening to us. We're in the same boat, and we want everyone to have the same protections, whether it means watchdog organizations doing detailed, transparent examinations or giving everyone we can reach a lesson in critical thought. The latter is the whole fucking point behind our blogging about these topics.

These sociopathic fuckers couldn't care less about that. They're just in the trolling business for shits and giggles. Other people's emotions are nothing but their playthings to inflate their ego.

We tear down bad ideas because that's how science works: Come up with lots of ideas and tear down the ones that don't get evidence in their favor or have logical flaws. Whatever remains standing is likely to be true, and thus we can use that knowledge to better ourselves and help other people. Truth-filled ridicule is a tool to increase a person's awareness of logical fallacies.

For the nihilists, tearing everything down is its own purpose. Ridicule is its own end, and it consists only of hollow laughter directed towards anyone who expresses anything other than indifference.

So, to those of you who tell me to "get a life," I say this:


*The soul I speak of is, of course, only a metaphor for all the physically-based mental and emotional complexities of a person.


Dark Jaguar said...

I happen to hear this from people sometimes. Generally I never bring up this stuff with people I don't think would be interested, but if it comes up on TV or something like that, or they bring it up, often I hear "who cares?" as some sort of be-all come back to the very idea of caring about things. First of all, the very fact that people are talking about it should tell you who cares. Maybe the majority don't, but that's not much of an argument.

Secondly, it seems that it's just not "cool" to be interested in anything. I remember some commercial for... beer or something I dunno... where the jist of it seemed to be making fun of HAVING ideals, much less talking about them. Apparently parties are for talking about the weather or sports and not anything of any great import.

I think part of this is just because no one wants to offend, and there's no quicker way to offend than to find out you disagree with someone else on something you both care about passionately. So, heck, reduce all conflict by reducing passion! Stop caring about things and no conflict need ever arise! While true in a sense, I'd rather not live in a zombie world like that. Oh hey! Thank god it's Friday! I'm got Grey's Anatomy TiVo's and have you TRIED these new sugar bombs? They're delicious! Oh you HAVE to try them!

Kill me if I ever turn into THAT person!

Bronze Dog said...

Just realized there's a much simpler way to phrase the whole post:

"The triumph of evil requires only that good people do nothing" hence I harbor a special hatred for the people who insist I do nothing.

Mongrel said...

Generally I've only ever regarded the "Get a life!" as a really easy Ad Hom because someone has just ripped their bag of assertions to shreds. It's normally the first in a line of vacous, insulting posts as they get tangled in the lies of their favoured woo.

Dark Jaguar said...

Yeah that's one situation where it's used. I think this is more along those sorts of people who don't believe in any particular woo (or believe in much of anything at all, the truly apathetic) that get surprisingly offended that others actually DO take interest in the world around them.

Oklahoma seems to be the official state of apathy sometimes. Our "motto" (Oklahoma... OK) doesn't help matters.