Friday, April 26, 2013

The (Un)Intentional Straw Man- Why We Can't Talk To Each Other

Straw Man
I spend a great deal of time trying to talk across the divide in our country, the divide between right and left.  Sometimes it's gratifying. More often it's frustrating.  It seems to me that any intelligent, sincere people should be able to sit down and at least have a conversation and it amazes me how often we simply cannot.  I keep trying to figure out why. There are many reasons, but one is the straw man arguments we keep dragging out.  I know some people who do it intentionally.  Others, I believe do it unintentionally.  Here is classic example.  Yesterday we were discussing why Muslims do or do not speak out against the acts of terrorism committed in their name.  I gave an example of a Muslim group that did speak out, very publicly on their website.  Well, instead of discussing that, we immediately jumped into whether or not Islam is an inherently violent religion.  Given the Boston Marathon bombing last week, we of course made our way to that.  And, then the conversation went a little something like this.

    • Non-Hyphenated America There is ONE factor in Islamic terrorism : the KORAn and its pedophile terrorist scum bag founder Mohammed
    • Brian Smith Statistically Muslims have not been the ones involved in most terror plots in the United States. In fact, since 1995, 88% of the domestic terrorist plots have been by right-wing groups, ecoterrorists and anarchists, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress.
      19 hours ago · Like · 2
    • Non-Hyphenated America What a me 10 me 5 major attacks by right wing groups...and no McVeigh was an atheist...not a christian
    • Non-Hyphenated America leftists like eco terrorists are indeed a major problem. Still no one comes close to Muslims as a threat and anyone that does not get that is a lemming
    • Non-Hyphenated America But yes I get it...the American left wants to blame America for the Boston bombing...all expected and predictable of course.

      Brian Smith Maneesh, I don't know anyone who wants to blame America for the Boston bombing, but to say "They just hate us." or "Their religion made them do it." is simplistic, counter-productive and narrow-minded. There are a lot of factors involved and yes, we have contributed to the problem. Mature people can look at two sides of a thing and take responsibility for their own part.

So,  my friend says "the American left wants to blame America for the Boston bombing.  And, I said "I don't know anyone who wants to blame American for the Boston bombing..."  Then a few minutes later he posts on his wall (tagging me).

Moonbat Brian Smith blames America for the Boston surprise

So, in spite of me directly saying I don't know anyone (including me) who wants to blame America for the Boston bombing, what my friend took away from this conversation is I do blame America. Now I wonder if he did really hear that because when he posted the lie on my wall (the lie that I blame America for the Boston bombing), he tagged me to be sure I'd see it and to try to draw me into the conversation to defend this position.  The thing is if I don't jump in, his friends will believe I do blame America.  If I do jump in, I spend all day denying something I didn't say in the first place.  This same friend posted yesterday that I hate Christianity and the Bible and love Islam. Again in spite of me saying repeatedly that Islam is FAR from my favorite religion and would probably be the last religion I would choose if choosing a religion.  Not to mention I am an practicing Christian and have read and studied the Bible extensively.

Many ask me why I bother to talk to people who do this.  Well, there have been times, a few times, where they actually listen to what I say instead of what they think everybody on "the left" says.  There  have been times we actually listen to each other and understand that we pretty much want the same things.  Unfortunately, most of our conversations go like the one above.
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Anonymous said...

I have Muslim friends - I guess all the millions of Americans that kill and rape other Americans are just normal right? We just live in a horrid time in history - just wish there was real hope.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Just another reason why I haven't been anywhere near as active in discussing such things, or I carefully choose who I discuss them with. Sometimes people just stick their fingers in their ears and don't want to listen.