Thursday, May 16, 2013

The seedy Ad Hominem

There are a few people to whom I am very dedicated - members of my family and close friends.  I love these people with all my heart, but they cause me a thorough if weak kind of suffering when they gleefully or happily (I refuse to admit "joyfully") describe the foolishness or suffering of people they don't like.  I may not like these people either, but the connection between derision and consideration has become disturbingly strong.

Consideration is the mental act of considering another person's perspective.  Derision is the act of attacking or demeaning a person.  These two acts are connected as opposites, meaning that acting on one tends to inhibit acting on the other.  This is only natural, but it is being used against most people, and my sensitivity to derision has highlighted this abuse for me.  The abuse of this connection has always been with us, even taught in high school and college, as the false "ad hominem" argument.  It is taught as a false argument, but still it persists, and it is now, I believe being used intentionally where violence is too obvious and deceit is too difficult.

Human beings can be divided into parasites and producers.  Everyone has an evolved sensitivity to parasitism, and we escape it whenever we can, if we detect it.  The easiest way to detect parasitism is when the parasite causes us pain in its endeavor to live off of our own efforts instead of making its own efforts.  Sometimes the pain is not severe enough, or the chain of cause and effect is not clear enough, for us to see that another person is stealing our life force from us.  This is the case with most successful parasitic humans.

They form groups and work out plans to siphon off the surplus of the productive, using all kinds of strategies to prevent their victims from feeling enough pain to escape.  The simplest strategy is violence.  If the group can convince enough people that the violence is necessary and justified, then it enjoys widespread success.  This requires that the violence be quite limited.  This works until the parasite class has damaged so much of the host productive group that their surplus is no longer enough to support the parasites.  This is solved by the parasites through deceit.

The next simplest strategy for maintaining their access to the surplus of the productive is deceit.  For example, the violence used by the parasites is often deceitfully attributed to external parties and used as an excuse for the parasites to take more from the productive under the claim that it will be used to protect them.  When used by the parasite class that is most successful, such deceit is often called "false flag operations."  Increased communications among the productive class, such as through cell phones and the Internet, are currently putting the lie to many such false flag operations.

Another way in which the parasite class uses deceit is to skew or warp the perceptions of the productive class in the direction of relying more on the parasite class for "whatever it is they do to protect us."  Examples of this reliance can be found in the roles of central banking to protect from dishonest bankers, government schooling to protect from ignorance, and "Health and Safety" bureaucracies to protect from danger.  These roles can only be justified by deceiving people about the nature of their relationship to bankers, knowledge, and the natural world.  Again, these deceits are beginning to suffer widespread destruction through the disillusionment that the Internet provides.

This ongoing struggle the parasite class has with an ever-awakening population of productive humans who have had enough is driving their deceit strategy underground, psychologically.  The ad hominem attack is a subconscious kind of deceit.  It does not explicitly make false claims, but rather relies on the subconscious of the victim to make those claims.

When people don't believe them any more, and someone is speaking the truth about how they have cheated people, their last strategy is to get everyone to view the speaker of truth in a bad light.  This limits our efforts to consider what the person has to say, thereby providing a little bit of protection to the parasites whose predation is being described.  This is why derision bothers me so much.

Derision is no longer simply an immature thing we do to get back at people who have been mean.  It is now a full blown psychological manipulation tool.  Every barb and jab at a speaker of the truth weakens the strength of their truth.  Let us thwart them by being kind and defending those who are attacked, regardless of the value of their argument.  Ad hominem attacks are always a strong indicator of the inability to present a reasonable argument, and that is often because the position of the attacker is not reasonable.

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