The Internet is a funny place. I had a lot of fun writing 3-Year-Olds are Assholes. I knew from the moment I began to write this piece the varying reactions I was going to receive. I had a sense that some people would understand the satirical nature of the piece. I had a sense that there were other parents out there who shared my dry sense of humor. I also knew that other folks would be offended by the piece. Some of them wouldn’t read past the title with the word “asshole” in it and then write me an email telling me that I (myself) was an asshole. True story.
What I didn’t anticipate were the reaction blogs. There have been quite a few people who have had strong emotional reactions to the piece. These individuals took the time write about their own feelings about my article in blog posts. On the one hand, I think this is great! I’m glad that people are having strong reactions and the article is making people think. However, what I take issue with in some of these pieces is the way that the writer attacks my character. There’s a few of these articles where the writer pokes fun at my sensitivity. I’m not sure what that has to do with the original article.
I was a philosophy major college. I know all about deconstructing arguments. I love a good debate. The nature of poking holes in another person’s argument should be based entirely on their argument, not emotional and/or physical characteristics of the person. Imagine Socrates is having an argument with a Greek citizen and attempting to show him about the importance of knowledge. The man who he’s arguing then turns around and says:
“Socrates, you’re enormously fat!”
What? That has nothing to do with the importance of knowledge. What the hell is this guy talking about?
That’s what I’ve found some of these people are doing to me. They’re not making critical compelling arguments. They’re just going below the belt and trying to get shock value.
I suppose they’re not trying to make compelling arguments. Their goal is to emotionally punch me in the stomach. It works man. I fall for it a lot of the time.
I just think it would be more effective, and I might even consider their point of view rather than dismissing it immediately, if they employed a logical argument to critique my writing. I would certainly be open to that. I enjoy a good debate.
So a word to the trolls, take a logic course. Logically sound arguments are a lot more fun to argue with than emotionally charged ones.